The excerpt from the volume A Place to Stand by D. Elton Trueblood appearing in this periodical under the title “Rational Christianity” (February 14 issue) conveyed to the reader the main thrust of the work. Dr. Trueblood has undertaken the impressive task of finding for today’s man, with all his perplexities, some point of stability that he can use as a base of operations. If the ancient Greek physicist felt the need for this, modern post-industrial and polycentric man should and does, deep down, sense the same need.
The volume contains a certain “philosophy of motif” in which it is suggested that there is a dialectic or periodicity in the Christian movement between belief and action. Trueblood sees a close parallel between the “cut flower” nature of our contemporary culture, on the one hand, and the dwindling role of faith in the dynamics of recent developments in church programming, on the other. He thinks the emphases within the Church during the past fifty years have been shaped by forms of action, issuing in three major developments: foreign missions, church union, and church renewal.
These represented bursts of speed, Trueblood feels, that have largely lost their ability to inspire great enthusiasm. In short, he believes they have run their course. He feels also that the Christian climate is now such that the next major drive will be in the direction of faith—of the belief that has been neglected and whose force, being spent, no longer undergirds major emphases. It is in these terms that our writer projects a kind of “scenario of the future.”
Trueblood is primarily concerned to sketch and defend a type of faith that will provide an Archimedean fulcrum for modern man. He recognizes the extent to which belief has been ...1
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