Practically throughout the world the church of Christ is on the defensive. Her heyday seems to have passed and there is deep disquiet in almost every communion naming itself Christian. Yet rightly seen, as Latourette’s volumes have made many of us see, such a situation may well mark a fresh advance. Marshall Foch, in the First World War, in one of our darkest hours, said something like this: “My flanks have been driven back; my center has been driven in: we attack!”


In my student days I noted in a widely-read volume (one of the celebrated Muirhead Library of Philosophy series) this close of the total argument: “We have therefore the right to hope,” and one felt it was so. In after thought, as the world seemed to totter, one recalled the pregnant picture of Hope as a blindfold female figure sitting across the world-sphere with a guitar in her hand, one string alone remaining, and she was playing on that one length of strung wire! Hope! But what if it snapped? There we have the present malaise in modern philosophy, or at least in large stretches of it.

The doyen of British philosophy, one assumes, is Bertrand Russell, whose brochure Why I Am Not a Christian seems incredible when one recalls his philolosophic acumen. A bare reading proclaims how far removed he is from Christian factuality and the faith based thereon. “Hope” seems to have snapped in his early university days. Later on, two excerpts reveal how drastically it had thus suffered: “At last there falls the pitiless dark.” In another passage, he urges the stoic-like quality of “an unyielding despair.”

As any serious student knows, skepticism is the perennial characteristic of philosophy revealing implicitly the need of a different discipline, ...

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