Progress of Civilization and God-Centered Learning
One thing I observe though is that at every significant point in history where progress deeply impacts society in a good sense, people are learning and living a God-centered and gospel-motivated life rather than man-centered way of life. One example of this is the Victorian era (1837-1901) when England experienced tremendous progress and somehow influenced other countries as well. If one word could sum up Victorian England that would be morality. Victorians aspired to live moral lives in line with their understanding of the Holy Scriptures and their high standard enabled them to excel in literature, science, and industry in a way that is still admired today. That's why Victorian era is usually associated with progress and moral excellence.
I've read that when Queen Victoria in London entertained a chief from one of Britain's African colonies, he asked her the secret of England's greatness. Her majesty did not take him to the Tower of London and showed him the glittering crown jewels. She did not speak to him of the brilliant politicians who debated in Parliament. Instead she presented the chief with a Bible and said, "This is the secret of England's greatness." A prince from India, which is one of Britain's former colonies, also recognized this truth. He asked, "Where did the English-speaking people get all their intelligence and energy and cleverness and power?" "It is their Bible that gives these to them. And now they bring it to us and say, 'This is what raised us. Take it and raise yourselves.'"