One of the most impressive sights of 1951 was that of an elderly man giving a lecture at Columbia University. He was a man not ordinarily accounted one of the twelve disciples, and I am not baptizing him now — Bertrand Russell (atheist philosopher). It was rather amusing to many to see and hear the apologies and hesitations with which he made his announcement that Christian love was the world’s greatest need. Here are his words, with all the apologies left in:
“The root of the matter (if we want a stable world) is a very simple and old-fashioned thing, a thing so simple that I am almost ashamed to mention it, for fear of the derisive smile with which wise cynics will greet my words. The thing I mean is love, Christian love.”
“Christian love.” But trying to have Christian love, without its source in the revelation of a God of love in Christ, is trying to create something out of nothing.