Let the Gospels speak. Of what I have learnt from these documents in the course of my long task, I will say nothing now. Only this, that they bear the seal of the Son of Man and God, they are the Magna Charta of the human spirit. Were we to devote to their comprehension a little of the selfless enthusiasm that is now expended on the riddle of our physical surroundings, we would cease to say that Christianity is coming to an end - we might even feel that it had only just begun.
We have the peculiar spectacle of a nation which, to a limited extent, practices Christianity without actively believing in Christianity. We are asked to turn to the Church for our enlightenment, but when we do this we find that the voice of the Church is not inspired. The voice of the Church today is the echo of our own voices. And the result of this experience, already manifest, is disillusionment. . . . The way out is the sound of a voice, not our voice, but the voice coming from somewhere not ourselves, in the existence of which we cannot disbelieve. It is the task of the Pastors to hear this voice, cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says. If they cannot hear it, or if they fail to tell us what it says, we laymen are totally lost. Without it we are no more capable of saving the world than we are capable of creating it in the first place.
The leadership demanded of youth today is not attained by chance nor fostered by indulgence. It demands careful preparation - a preparation that should be constantly impregnated, if you please, by the sweet spirit of four loyalties. Loyalty to self - by conserving physical strength and youthful vigor. Loyalty to parents - Our debt to our parents is unpayable except in one way- that is in emulating their ideals, thus bringing joy to them in their old age and satisfaction to those who have gone before in seeing that we keep ourselves clean and wholesome. Loyalty to country - A great writer has said that "The destiny of any nation at any given time depends upon the opinions of its young men under five and twenty." Loyalty to God and truth - Our belief in equality and brotherhood is a Christian heritage, and it fades out of the picture when Christian belief is forgotten. We have to educate the race to realize that no man is unwanted, that every soul is unique and has a life to live made up of momentous choices which will make or mar his own life and the life of the community and of the world. To cherish these loyalties, to make popular these ideals, the world needs men and women of unimpeachable character. The future is yours to make or to mar as you choose. Youth - conviction - courage - is a combination potentially capable of determining the kind of world we shall live in. Though not the wisest, youth is the best, the most radiant time of life. Young men and women, the future awaits you! It is yours!
We ought indeed to expect to find the works of God in such things as the advance of knowledge. Knowledge of the physical universe is not to be thought of as irrelevant to Christian faith [simply] because it does not lead to saving knowledge of God. In so far as it is concerned with God's creation, physical science is a fitting study for God's children. Moreover, the advance of scientific knowledge does negatively correct and enlarge theological notions - at the least, the geologists and astrophysicists have helped us to rid ourselves of parochial notions of God, and filled in some of the meaning of such phrases as "almighty."
David M. Paton
Source: Christian Missions and the Judgment of God
Paul Tillich can show us that the unity which we seek as Christians must involve our denominations in changes even greater than those which many of us now expect. His insistence on taking seriously the gropings of all men for the truth about their lives must be allowed to remind the ecumenical movement that the word oikoumene is Greek not for "the Church" but for "the whole inhabited world". The ecumenical movement is more than Christian patriarchs kissing. Christian unity means the unity of mankind in finding and obeying God. Tillich can teach us that the Church must not shut its door to celebrate a family reunion while a single child of God remains outside.
IF WE AND OUR POSTERITY SHALL BE TRUE TO THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, IF WE AND THEY SHALL LIVE ALWAYS IN THE FEAR OF GOD AND SHALL RESPECT HIS COMMANDMENTS, IF WE AND THEY SHALL MAINTAIN JUST MORAL SENTIMENTS AND SUCH CONSCIENTIOUS CONVICTIONS OF DUTY AS SHALL CONTROL THE HEART AND LIFE, WE MAY HAVE THE HIGHEST HOPES OF THE FUTURE FORTUNES OF OUR COUNTRY. OUR COUNTRY WILL GO ON PROSPERING.