16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 21


SIR,—In his article, " The Moral Front," Sir Evelyn Wrench compares the energy of the young Nazi with the apathy of the young Christian, and asks : " . . are we ready to give a devotion equally whole-hearted [as the Nazis] to our ideals? " The clue to our apathy can be found in Sir Evelyn's sentence. An ideal belongs to the world of thought. It is something we cannot have. If we could have it then it would no longer be an ideal. Life for the Nazi is totalitarian. He has a purpose which involves action as well as thought. We have ideals but no purpose.

The greatest contribution Jesus made to history was His discovery of the purpose of God—the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, and Christianity is the continuity of that purpose. An ideal has no hands and feet, a purpose has. Jesus did not give His disciples ideals to think about. He fired them with. His purpose, and in so far as Christianity exists today it exists in the lives of men who carry on His work. To urge whole- hearted devotion to ideals is to stress reflection at the expense of action, and the result is the stagnation we all deplore. The more idealist and other-worldly religion becomes the worse will be our plight. Our whole task today is to reverse the process and recover the religious attitude of Jesus for whom religion was a way of understanding and of living the whole of life, and the building of the Kingdom here His purpose.—