Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 20. Thursday, September 7, 1950
He knew that we were aware of the troubles of the times—a world rushing to destruction it seems. He brought it home to us that we, members of the so-called great democracies had given atom bombs to-youths and had them obliterate two great cities. Platitudes unclothed became naked fact. You can't avoid this issue. Least of all can a Christian avoid it. Civilisation has about five years at the most left to decide whether it wilt continue. Because he could look all this in the face, because he knew what he was talking about, and because now, at 65, he is young, he convinced us in vigorous contrast to the Hamlet that irks our souls, that now is a great time to be alive.
Yes, he said, concluding his introduction—the terrible likelihood of yet another war surpassing all in devastation provides the best test case of just what our Christianity is. He did not protagonise his point of view upon us (his attitude is Christian and Pacifist). What he did show us was that we have an inescapable duty to face this issue with sustained effort and study.
We were confronted with the mass mess of our civilisation; civilisation does not depend on material prosperity. The destruction of Hiroshima, though this is terrible enough, does not matter so much as the wrong human relationships which cause, eventually, such destruction. Seeking, in consequence, to understand such a situation, he would offer four main fundamental problems.