Although no Christian is able absolutely to analyse the whole course of events, nevertheless even the most casual student of human affairs is forced by the drama of one age succeeding another in man’s story to conclude that there is a rhythm to history. This is not the cyclical interpretation of history ridiculed centuries ago by Augustine of Hippo, but rather what one might call a historical undulation. History seems at times to reach a high point from which it descends rapidly or slowly to its nadir and thence again it rises to another high point. What some might term the “high point” someone else might term a low point. But that divisions or ages appear in man’s story most would accept, and it would seem that the processes through which each age goes are similar enough to suggest parallels between them.
If this be the case, the natural question which arises is: where do we stand in our own age? We in our day are probably witnessing some of the most important events which man has seen in his whole history. What is their significance? What do they indicate concerning our place in history? If we are to understand our own age and day it is important that we should make an attempt to grasp the significance of the point of time in which we stand.
To resolve this mystery, or at least to attempt a resolution of it, about our only resource is to turn back the pages of history to see if there are any historical parallels to our own day. In doing this, however, a personal, subjective element always enters in which, coupled with superficiality in our judgment, may well lead us astray. An adequate delineation, covering every avenue of approach, would require a multi-volume work similar to Toynbee’s Study of History. Space and knowledge ...1
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