It wasn’t so long ago, not really, that Christian intellectuals had a wide influence.
Not a wide influence among the church – a wide voice in Western culture at large.
People looked to them for guidance, and they felt an obligation, a duty, to give it.
Can you imagine this today?
Imagine the likes of Tim Willard, John Piper, Bob Goff, and Andy Stanley having real influence over politicians, journalists, celebrities, and voters-at-large.
Maybe the wide popularity of Billy Graham was the last glimmer of this?
The issue – or at least the issue in 1943 – was that Christian intellectuals saw Judeo-Christian morals as an axiom of an ethical nation.
At least if that nation was going to flourish long-term.
Prosperity and education would eventually point us toward other gods though…
What kind of world would be left to us when the Axis powers had suffered that “inevitable disaster”? There would be much remaking and reshaping to do: who would do it, and what principles would govern them? Such thoughts were on the minds of many, and some of the more ambitious and provocative ideas emerged from a small group of Christian intellectuals. This was a time—it seems so long ago now, a very different age, and one that is unlikely to return—when prominent Christian thinkers in the West believed that they had a responsibility to set a direction not just for churches but for the whole of society. And, stranger still, in that time, many of their fellow citizens were willing to grant them that authority—or at least to listen when they asserted it.