“[S]cience has replaced magic and superstition in our era only by inheriting from Christianity its faith in progress† and its power to fight against the vicious circle of mental habits for an open future, the power to change our minds through suffering…
“Scholars have been complacently sawing off the trunk of Revelation on which their science was but a branch. By refusing to acknowledge their indebtedness to the Christian era for one future, one time common to all men, they lose orientation. Sciences do not give orientation; they presuppose it. The pillars of time are erected by lived lives, not by theories.”
~from The Christian Future, page 84 & 86.
† “Outside of science, progress is simply a myth… Without [progress], will we not despair? Like trembling Victorians terrified of losing their faith … humanists cling to the moth-eaten brocade of progressive hope. Today religious believers are more free-thinking. Driven to the margins of a culture in which science claims authority over all of human knowledge, they have had to cultivate a capacity for doubt. In contrast, secular believers – held fast by the conventional wisdom of the time – are in the grip of unexamined dogmas.”
~John Gray, from Straw Dogs, Forward
“Without the scientist’s feeling that truth is of the utmost concern, truth ceases to be of concern, in the mores of the people…
“Progress is impossible in a society which has lost orientation.”
~TCF, page 89.
“When [the Jews] were scattered over the earth after the loss of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., they had no other function than to bear witness to the ‘economy of revelation,’ to the growing Kingdom of God. Without their existence, the gospel of Jesus might have come to the Gentiles like a myth or a legend. Christianity becomes an historical fact only through the existence of Jews. The natural inclination of men and nations to take flight into dreams of ancestral pride or the cobwebs of abstract philosophy always leads to excesses of agnosticism and mythology. The Jews, simply by their existence, bar the nations from a relapse into that comfortable self-adoration which makes Jesus himself into a blond Germanic hero instead of a despised Jew.”
~from Out of Revolution, page 219-220.
“To a certain extent, the disillusion with our first home and its reconstruction after a time of homelessness has to be experienced by every man during the years between fourteen and thirty. If he escapes this crisis it is true he would never become a man.”
~from Out of Revolution, page 92
“Fear acts very differently from love in that it will exaggerate differences.”
“[L]ove forbids putting on any fellow Christian any burden of too much belief or too much action.”
~from The Christian Future, page 152 & 153.
“What is the secret of eldership? It lies in the fact that an old man is through with his own life but not at all through with life. On the contrary, like a grandfather he watches all the later generations with a loving wisdom, which alone can reconcile their strife. He is the great pacifier, the guardian of life’s continuity, because people know that he alone is free from personal partisan aims. Therefore he is peculiarly the regenerative force in society; he sees to it that the full cycle of life is re-begun in the proper order. And it is the expectation of one day becoming elders that should carry us through the full cycle of our own lives.”
~from I Am an Impure Thinker: Teaching Too Late, Learning Too Early, page 104.
I Am an Impure Thinker is available for free pdf download. Click here for that.