Some years ago there was borne in upon me with great conviction an awareness of the inseparable connection of the freedom which we enjoy in the West and the Christian faith. With this came a deepened sense that God is concerned, not alone with man’s soul and his eternal destiny, but with his life here and what happens to him in this world. I suppose I had known these things before, but one day they hit me with tremendous force. I may say that I think this theologically sound, and a natural inference from the Incarnation, when God took upon him our flesh “and was made man.” This means that fields like business and politics are not outside the Church, not parallel to the Church, not enemies of the Church: but that unless religion gets into these fields, two things happen. Business and politics get rottener and rottener; but religion itself gets rarer and rarer. I don’t know which suffers more. They were meant to go together, like soul and body.
Let me give you a few quotations from men who are wiser than I, that enforce this point. Dr. Jacques Maritain, the great French philosopher and statesman, says, “The consciousness of the rights of the person has its origin in the conception of man and of the natural law established by centuries of Christian philosophy.” Prof. William A. Orton of Yale said, “It is only in the Christian doctrine of man that we can find a firm and reasoned ground for the American affirmation.” Said G. K. Chesterton, “There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.” And T. S. Eliot points the issue that is before us in his words, “The term democracy does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike—it can easily be transformed by ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more