What to make of Menninger’s “brief and biased view of moral history”? Consider chapter 1 in An Archaeology of the Fall, written in a similar stream of consciousness, 40 years later. Both
-Identify that “something is wrong”
-Note the spiritually disfiguring growth of the United States of America
-Identify Lincoln’s death as a turning point (In Whatever: A cryptotheological formula – an immortal leader martyred: In An Archaeology: the Union was born)
-Envision a movement that results in self-serving and incomprehensible people who are resistant to prophets (In Whatever: the movement is towards affluence: In An Archaeology: the movement is a social construction in service to the Union god)
What is a difference between these two works? An Archaeology of the Fall (2012) was written after the Progressive Movement has consolidated. Whatever Became of Sin? (1973) was written in the process of that consolidation.
In 2012, one cannot be both a Christian and a Progressive.
In 1973, Menninger was both a believer and a Progressive.
In 2012, the Progressive does not care about Menninger. He served his purpose. The Progressive has moved on. The Christian, however, can look back – almost in amazement – at this hybrid Christian Psychoanalyst whose book went through at least 7 reprints.