The Sins of the Fathers (Paperback)
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Those who have read Dr. Cram's recent books on "The Nemesis of Mediocrity" and "The Great Thousand Years" will hasten with much eagerness to read his latest book on "The Sins of the Fathers." They will not be disappointed. In this little book he traces all the evils of the war to what he considers the three fundamental causes: Imperialism, the Quantitative Standard, and Materialism. It is rather a large order that he calls for in the doing away with Imperialism: nothing less than a huge act of self-denial, a huge act of abnegation resulting in the dissolution of the great empires of Britain, France and the United States. England must abrogate her sovereignty over Canada, India, Australia, South Africa, and Egypt; France must abandon the African possessions she has governed so well; and the United States must declare the independence of the Philippines and agree to be separated into four or five autonomous states. He claims that the present war has utterly destroyed modern civilization and that what follows after must be fundamentally different in form and in idea. Democracy is incompatible either with "big business or high finance" or with imperialism. "Either imperialism must go, in government, in industry and in finance, or democracy in any form must be abandoned." In the last essay, on materialism, he draws a terrific indictment against modern civilization which has been built upon the corner stones of the Reformation, the Suppression of the Monasteries, the Huguenot revolt, the great Rebellion, the Commonwealth, the Puritan conspiracy, and the Enfranchisement of the People. Materialism according to Dr. Cram can only be conquered by sacramentalism, by which he means "the doctrine of the sanctity of material things through their acquired glory as channels and embodiments of the Divine." Dr. Cram seems enamored of the scholastic explanation of the Real Presence contained in the dogma of Transubstantiation. This is because he believes that "so long as it was held generally, it worked insensibly but potently to render the material thing secondary in importance, to give it an ephemeral and transitory and inferior value, and to exalt the spiritual fact at its expense." One can have no quarrel with this reason for attaching a high value to the dogma of Transubstantiation. As to whether it is an explanation of the Real Presence that is intelligible to the mind of today, that is another question. We do not altogether agree with his indictment of Anglicanism on page 107 as denying the efficacy of the sacraments in a Catholic sense. Neither are we quite ready to accept his accusation against the Roman Catholic Church that the change in the personnel of her adherents has compelled her to divert her attention from philosophy to devotions immediately adapted to the status and mental capacity of her people. He implies that the Roman Catholic Church has suffered from the contamination of modernism and has really gone over to materialism. We question whether this is true. Dr. Cram is indisputably right in his view that reconstruction is primarily a spiritual task....--"The New American Church Monthly," Vol. 4.



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