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Saturday, February 05, 2011

the flowers are dead

  A quarter of a century ago a few of us began to say that faith in the possibility of a cut-flower civilization is a faith which is bound to fail.[1] What we meant was that it is impossible to sustain certain elements of human dignity, once these have been severed from their cultural roots. The sorrowful fact is that, while the cut flowers seem to go on living and may even exhibit some brightness for a while, they cannot do so permanently, for they will eventually wither and be discarded. The historical truth is that the chief sources of the concepts of the dignity of the individual and equality before the law are found in the Biblical heritage. Apart from the fundamental convictions of that heritage, symbolized by the idea that every man is made in the image of God, there is no adequate reason for accepting the concepts mentioned.
[1] My own contribution to this theme appeared in The Predicament of Modern Man (New York: Harper & Row, 1944), pp. 59 ff.

In 1968 the most explosive year of the 20th century, Elton Trueblood published "A Place to Stand." This is one of those books which doesn't age. You can read it here.


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