By Robert A. Wright
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Extra resources for A World Mission: Canadian Protestantism and the Quest for a New International Order, 1918-1939
It would be incorrect to interpret the static ideals of Protestant rhetoric - the liberals' appeal for "the Kingdom of God" and the conservatives' call for "the redemption of the world," for example - as though their adherents believed that they were absolutely and immediately attainable. Church officials recognized that international peace, stability, and cooperation were utterly dependent upon the grace of God and the will of human beings and, as a result, their faith in progress toward a better world, though resolute, was balanced by expectations of inconsistency, cowardice, and even failure.
D. "87 All agreed that such ignorance should not be allowed to persist. " Christian internationalism was for Canadian Protestants a ubiquitous, and hence an imprecise, term. All agreed that Christianity had a crucial role to play in the improvement of relations between individuals and nations, and that the new internationalism meant the supremacy of the ideals of Christ and an end to so-called selfish nationalism. The Christianization of the world was deemed by many to be essential to internationalism but this, too, was a necessarily ubiquitous principle that encompassed anything from strict conversion to acquiescence in a vaguely Christian or even merely "religious" code of conduct.
24 A singularly exceptional critique of the North American panic about bolshevism appeared in the Christian Guardian in early February 1919. Written by Ernest Thomas, this article opened with the observation that bolshevism was too often condemned and too little studied by Westerners. "Bolshevik law," Thomas wrote, stood for two fundamental principles: that land should be held and used to general advantage and that manufacturing should be conducted not for profit but for the needs of the people.