Signs of the Times

Topic: Right Government

[Professor Arnold J. Toynbee, in the Listener, London, England]

The idolatrous worship of organized human power is the fatal error which is common to all the varieties of our postwar paganism. The error is so profound that the triumph of this paganism could spell nothing but disaster for mankind. But to say that human society is not a proper object for religious worship does not, of course, mean that the tribe or the state or the nation or the world-empire are evil in themselves. No doubt they have their place in human life, since man has been created as a social creature. But the function of these man-made social organizations is certainly not to usurp the throne of God. Their function—and it is an honorable though a humble one—is to serve as stepping-stones on the way towards the only society in which man can find a true satisfaction for his social nature; and that is a society which, so far from usurping the place of God, has God Himself for its principal member. The true home of man is the Civitas Dei or the "City of God," in which the common fatherhood of God creates a brotherhood between all the human citizens of the divine commonwealth—a brotherhood which cannot be established by any bond of which God Himself is not the maker.

August 21, 1937

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.