It is a remarkable fact that since the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the French Revolution, the Christian faith—with all its binding, outward dogmas—has been crumbling away. In its place a kind of unscrupulousness has emerged that sweeps away not only superstition, but faith as well, and makes people ruthlessly pursue their clever inventions, which today are conquering the world. All restraint is thrown overboard. Research and strenuous activity take the first place in life, relentlessly opposing everything else. And so Confucianism and dogmatic Christianity collapse. At the same time all the animal instincts come to the fore, arousing passions which threaten to destroy all culture.
But God must have a meaning in all of this. It is a stage in the progress toward the time when God’s justice will be revealed in the yearned-for freedom, a time when all human laws and rights will cease, and people will know in their hearts what is right and what is wrong.Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, from Christ in the World, Letters to China No. 113, April 1912.