28 DECEMBER 1945, Page 13

SIR,—In his letter in your issue of December 7th "

Student " asks, " are we to believe that, because Christ lived nearly 2,000 years ago, the last word has been said about religion? " The answer is that we are not asked to believe so because Christ lived 2,000 years ago, but we are asked to believe it although He lived that time ago. That is what the younger generation find so difficult to accept. To their minds there ought to be a like progress and development in man's Religion as there has been in his science. " Why are we expected to look to Einstein in the twentieth century for our knowledge in mathematics, but to Christ in the first century for our knowledge in religion? "

Living in an age of astounding progress in scientific knowledge and technical development, it is not difficult to see why the younger generation feel like this. They cannot understand why an age which has attained to the radio, the aeroplane, and the atomic bomb should remain static in its religious ideas. But what they ought to understand is, that if the Church accepts the parallelism of " Student " that the relation of Jesus to religion is the same as that of Einstein towards mathematics, it has recanted its faith and liquidated the Christian religion. For it is the very essence of that faith that Christianity is a religion of revelation. Jesus did not discover the truths He taught by speculation, observation, experimentation, as Einstein discovered the law of Relativity. He re- vealed them as Son of God. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." That is just what the younger generation cannot accept, but it is also just what the Christian Church cannot recant. In that dilemma stands revealed the tragic gulf between "Youth and the Churches." Tragic because it is due on the one side to Youth's inability, rather than un- willingness, to believe: and on the other because the Church cannot abolish faith as the necessary fundament of religion. " Student " is at liberty to hope for the emergence of some " higher religion" at some date in the future, but it is not reasonable to look to the Christian Church to produce it. Since he regards " Christ's ethical code" as reasonable, it might help him to ponder over this questidn:—" Can a life so manifestly right have been founded on a faith which was possibly wrong? " For in the long run out faith is faith in the faith. He might also reflect on the statement of a modern historian (incidentally an atheist!) that "in a late civilisation man desires a religion without God—that is, without the supernatural