It is to speak of all the godlessness in our time and the loss of the truly human as well.
Will durant, formerly chairman of the philosophy department at Columbia University and author of the famous volume, Story of Philosophy, writes, “God who was once the consolation of our brief life, and our refuge in bereavement and suffering has apparently vanished from the scene; no telescope, no microscope discovers him. Life has become in that total perspective which is philosophy, a fitful pullulation of human insects on the earth; nothing is certain in it except defeat and death—a sleep from which, it seems, there is no awakening.… Faith and hope disappear; doubt and despair are the order of the day.… It seems impossible any longer to believe in the permanent greatness of man, or to give life a meaning that cannot be annulled by death.… The greatest question of our time is not communism vs. individualism, not Europe vs. America, not even East vs. West; it is whether man can bear to live without God.”
Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul expressed the dilemma of humanity in these words: Without Christ … without hope … without God. Modern man has discovered that he who loses God loses not only hope but also his very humanity. In this two-part article, Albert Outler diagnoses the true malaise of modern man and prescribes its cure.
He first probes liberal panaceas for our lingering human frailties but then penetrates man’s mortal illness to its ultimate cause in the almost total loss of the sense of the sacred with its consequent human disorientation from the moral order of God and its sometimes raging, sometimes apathetic, despair of meaning and value for human existence. For Dr. Outler, this deep understanding of our human predicament ...1
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