Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Nature and Destiny of Man

The idea of progress is compounded of many elements.  It is particularly important to consider one element of which modern culture is itself completely oblivious.  The idea of progress is possible only upon the ground of a Christian culture.  It is a secularized version of Biblical apocalypse and of the Hebraic sense of a meaningful history, in contrast to the meaningless history of the Greeks.  But since the Christian doctrine of the sinfulness of man [sic] is eliminated, a complicating factor in the Christian philosophy is removed and the way is open for simple interpretations of history, which relate historical progress as closely as possible to biological process and which fail to do justice either to the unique freedom of man [sic] or the daemonic use which he [sic] may make of that freedom.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

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