Christianity introduced a concept into the thought of the West which is alien to the thinking of Plato and Aristotle, the two major political thinkers of the ancient world. This new concept has been called, after Augustine, the idea of the two cities: the City of God and the City of Man. Man, it is asserted, holds his citizenship papers in two realms, the earthly and the heavenly. He is to negotiate this life as best he can, seeking as much justice and such happiness as this world permits, but in full awareness that his ultimate felicity may be attained only in another order of existence. “The world is a bridge,” an Oriental sage remarked. “Cross it, but do not build your houses on it”.…
Christianity introduced another concept into Western thought which has had an effect upon our thinking about government: the concept of the Fall. Christian thought distinguishes between the created world as it came from the hand of God, and the fallen world known to history; between the world of primal innocence we posit, and the world marred by evil, which we know. It follows from this original premise that Christian thought is nonbehaviorist; it is based on the idea that the true inwardness of a thing—its real nature—cannot be fully known by merely observing its outward behavior. Things are distorted in the historical and natural order, unable to manifest their true being. Man especially is askew. He was created in the image of God, but now he is flawed by sin.
Some political implications may be drawn from these premises. It has been a characteristic note in Christian sociology, from the earliest centuries, to regard government not as an original element of the created world, but as a reflection of man’s corrupted nature in our fallen world. ...1
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