Thursday, September 22, 2005

Remembering Christian Realism

Sunday's New York Times published an essay on "Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr" by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. that deserves wide circulation. Niebuhr described his political philosophy as a "Christian Realism" and it corrected the modernist underestimation of human sin and fallibility that was in vogue prior to World War II.

Hopefully Schlesinger's essay will remind American Christians of the rich and mature heritage of theologically informed political thought that existed before the moral majority and Christian coalition took over the public square. Here's the conclusion to Schlesinger's essay:

The last lines of "The Irony of American History," written in 1952, resound more than a half-century later. "If we should perish, the ruthlessness of the foe would be only the secondary cause of the disaster. The primary cause would be that the strength of a giant nation was directed by eyes too blind to see all the hazards of the struggle; and the blindness would be induced not by some accident of nature or history but by hatred and vainglory."

This entry is cross posted from the Mainstream Baptist weblog


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