Christian theologian, historian and economist Dr. Gary North (b. 1942) has something to say on this subject.
In a written introduction to a lecture he gave in 2010 on the history of American conservatism, he says:
“A movement without optimism regarding the earthly future of its adherents suffers from a disadvantage in recruiting, training, and financing evangelists who will sacrifice time and money in order to bring its message to the public.”
In this instance he meant, specifically, conservatism. But he might just as well have referred to Christianity – certainly in western countries.
That North in fact does think this also with regard to most of Christianity today becomes clear when reading these words from the introduction to his book “Christian Economics, Vol. 3: Activist’s Edition“:
“The vast majority of Christians have adopted an eschatology—the doctrine of last things—that insists that the world cannot be reformed. Yes, an individual can use the Bible to reform himself with God’s help. Of course, Christian families can be reformed by biblical principles. Even churches can be reformed or else replaced by better ones. But society cannot be successfully reformed. Neither can the state. In contrast, another group of Christians, few in number in the past, insist that Christ’s redemption is comprehensive. Wherever sin reigns, Christ’s kingdom can reform it. Therefore, the Bible offers answers to every question, including this one: “How should this area of life be reformed?” This is the issue of healing. The concept of healing is related to salvation. A salve heals.”
“I am in the second group. I am inviting you to join.”
His books on Christian economics are his “program of reform”.
I agree with North. When I advocate “progress with God”, I am thinking of North’s ideas for “reforming” or “healing” society.
Today’s “progressives” also talk a lot about “reforming” or “healing” society. Their intentions in that respect are what make their movement so attractive — and powerful. Their particular intentions may be laudable. But without God, they will not heal society. On the contrary, their attempts at healing society without listening to God are very likely to make things worse for society and its individuals.