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tian education, it is fraught with grave danger. When we further contemplate the fact that during the next twenty years millions of little girls will grow up and address themselves to the task of citi. zenship, we feel once more the force of a staggering challenge.
But it is no longer a challenge; it is a straight-out demand which these people have an inherent right to make of the Church. They see dimly but none the less accurately that the ideal of a world democracy was put into the mind of men by Jesus and they also believe that to the Church was committed the power to make that ideal dynamic in social life and institutions. In 1914, dazed and crushed by the sudden catastrophe of a frightful war, whose full meaning we cannot yet discern, men were crying out in an agony of fear, "The Church has lost its power; God has forgotten His word !" In 1919 they are saying: “The Church has all power. God has forever vindicated His righteousness and justice and love. The present leaders in the Church must either assert themselves and make creative and efficient her power or forfeit all.” This does not mean that the Church will cease to be; it does mean that there will rise up either within or without the organized Church or perhaps both, a group of men and women who will bring about the desired reformation. It is one of the marks of her Divine origin that the Church carries in her own bosom the power of moral and spiritual recreation. This is in no sense a threat but rather an effort to state a principle. What President Wilson said concerning the final triumph of a League of Nations can be as truly predicted of the Church with regard to her attitude toward religious education: "The forces of the world do not threaten, they operate."
What do the public school leaders and the interested public generally expect of the Church in moral and religious education? What should the Church expect of itself if it is to fulfill its Divine task? It will greatly help our thinking if, at this point, we state briefly, some of the answers we propose giving to the above questions, leaving them for fuller development in the subsequent chapters of this book.
1. The Church must coöperate very definitely with the public school in an effort to spiritualize the institutions and tendencies in the State and community which make for democracy. It is the direct task of the Church to give a new valuation to the spiritual meaning of the life of the individual, the home, the State, and the Church. The war has thrown a flood of light upon all four aspects of this task. The human soul looms larger and diviner than ever before. The home, the State, and the Church are recognized as the three divine institutions around which the social life is built and through which the individual must function in all his efforts toward self-realization. The war has revealed a rich spiritual content in all three of these institutions which needs to be brought out and emphasized because of its educational value.
2. Amidst the conflicting moral and intellectual currents of our day, millions of men are asking the Church to show them the real Christ. The war has led to a rediscovery of the Christ of Galilee, the Jesus whom the disciples knew and loved, the gracious, all-powerful Son of God, whom time has enthroned as the supreme moral ideal, the way, the truth and the life. 3. The Bible can never be the same book since the
More than ever before, men are convinced that the Word of God contains a vital authoritative message for our day which needs fearless interpretation and which will no doubt call for a reorganization of the curriculum of religious education.
4. There should be a restating of the principles of religious education. The war has given new insight into the forces that shape men's lives for God. If possible, these should be formulated as educational laws which can be utilized in the educative process.
5. Men do not want war with all its hellish barbarity; but they do demand a vital Christian program that will challenge every atom of their man. hood. They want a task worth fighting for. Can the Church provide such a program? This program must be big enough to include the world problems of politics and religion for generations to come. Jesus was a true prophet, loyal unto death to His native country; but He was never a mere provincial. His mind and His program were international and universal and religious education must aim at the reproduction of the mind of Christ.
6. If the Church is going to interpret adequately, the meaning of the war in terms of religious education, it must face frankly, and with vision and courage, the task of completely reorganizing its educational work. This applies not only to the individual Church but to the larger community and interdenominational aspects of the problem.
THE VISION AND THE GREATNESS OF
NE of the most subtle dangers of our day is that people will settle back into pre-war
conditions and conceptions. Nowhere is this more true than in regard to the new value which the war has placed upon the soul of a man and his capacity for spiritual vision and attainment. It is of the utmost importance that the Church shall seize upon this new appreciaiton of the human spirit. What did men see and believe that caused them potentially to die before ever they went into the battle? How does God come into the souls of men and summon their latent capacities for heroic endeavor and how can religious education take these same capacities and organize them for the no less glorious conquests of peace? These are some of the momentous questions which this chapter seeks to answer, not in a theoretical way but rather by a study of the mind and conduct of the soldier.
It was upon one of the many murky mornings in October, 1918, that the remnant of the 39th‘U. 8. Infantry came out of the Argonne Forest. The usual rain was falling, and a heavy fog hugged the earth, shutting out the landscape and sending a