The more I studied the ancient sources of the Christian faith, the more I noticed certain lines of continuity between those ancient gnostic doctrines and our modern ideologies of resentment. A withering hatred of existing order; a cynical despair over political and institutional solutions; a naive assumption that human nature is capable of transformation, and that my group has the magic formula to effect the transformation; an attempt to implement a perfect transcendent order within this world – all this the ancient church had opposed, proclaiming a doctrine of creation in protest against the gnostic ideologies of resentment.
We are warned indeed that a man gains nothing if he wins the whole world at the cost of himself. Yet our hope in a new earth should not weaken, but rather stimulate our concern for developing this earth, for on it there is growing up the body of a new human family, a body even now able to provide some foreshadowing of the new age. Hence, though earthly progress is to be carefully distinguished from the growth of Christ’s kingdom, yet in so far as it can help toward the better ordering of human society it is of great importance to the kingdom of God.

From the pastoral constitution of the Church in the modern world (from the Second Vatican Council), quoted in today’s Office of Readings.

Cf. my previous post, in which Ben Myers makes a similar point.

(via johnthelutheran)