War and Murder
Some pacifists indulge in calling war murder. Ever since men could speak, murder and war stood approximately at opposite ends of the scale of social processes. The murderer was and is pre-tribal; he expresses his will against another will. War defends the order to which the warrior has surrendered part of his will because he believes in a higher, supernatural peace and order between men which depends for its existence on his acts. Not to go to war, means to desert the peace which my body politic has established. Not to murder means to respect the continuity which my body politic has built up.
~from The Origin of Speech, page 29
“Today as every day, [God’s] Spirit demands from us an answer to this question: What is as yet unfinished, uncreated, unprecedented, uncompromised in the vicious circle of our thinking? And we shall always find that the future of Christianity is present here and now as long as two or three Christians believe in it, and answer. And they answer, these poor timeful creatures, by contracting time to a point of most fruitful faith and love, and in this contraction, the suddenness of the end of the world and the endlessness of a first beginning are coupled and bear witness to the timelessness of our origin and our destiny.”
~from The Christian Future, page 91
“The future does not stay open automatically; it has to be re-opened by your own inward death and renewal. Not steady movement in one direction but continual re-direction, breaking through old ruts, is the formula for progress. All routine, all secondary forms of life, all the organs of our body even, decay when they do not serve and are not keyed up again by the growth of a new leaf, the bursting of one new blossom, by the one step into the unknown and improbable which we experience when we ask ourselves where our heart really is.”
~from The Christian Future, page 83
“If the land is not to be lost to hordes from outside, we in all the Western World shall have to recover the power to build communities. It is quite worthless to map out programs of rehabilitation or resettlement since not one of the individuals thus resettled or rehabilitated has the stamina to partake in the revival of the community. First of all, before any planners can carry out any plan, we shall have to create opportunities in which men recover their power to found or re-found communities. This power is lost. The modern mind has lost the recipe.”
~from The Christian Future, page 198
“Man’s dignity lies not in producing private opinions but in timing public truth. His speech must not only be more than himself: it must come at the right moment, in the fullness of time. Then his words acquire a ‘once for ever’ meaning. All the sayings of Jesus were quite simple; they became important forever because they were spoken at the right moment, ‘when the time was fulfilled.’ A truth taught without the time element is abstract, therefore not vital. Truth is concrete at the lucky opportunity and hour. When we speak too late or too early we are out of luck; our truth remains abstract, and we fail to create a present in which people transcend mere past and future; we lack presence of mind.”
~from I Am an Impure Thinker: Teaching Too Late, Learning Too Early, page 95
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