As we get older it gets harder to remember. Appointments slip our minds. Keys, wallets and phones go mysteriously AWOL. And the names of loved ones? Where did they all go? We, jokingly, call this the “new normal.” But is it? Memories are not as immutable as we think. Contemporary scientific studies indicate that our memories are altered each time they are recalled. Like fragmentation on a computer hard drive, the more experience we accumulate the more vulnerable our memories become to fragmentation. So, take heart! This is really a problem of knowing more, not remembering less. This is why we never remember our parents saying the things to us that we find ourselves saying to our children. Surely our parents never had to tell us to “stop looking at our sister.” As parents, we spend half our words saying what we never thought we would have to say to our children.
But consider how true this is of society at large? Who could have guessed that a time would come when you can be fired for referring to a person, who in every respect appears to be a man, using masculine pronouns? And when science is crystal clear that life begins at conception, that abortion rights would expanded and infanticide celebrated? Our founding fathers based our “Declaration of Independence” on certain truths which they declared to be ‘self-evident.’ But in our post-modernity we have declared no truths to be self-evident or even real. We are daily confronted with modern problems we never imagined and must say things we never thought would need to be said. But are our modern problems really new problems?
Calling problems, “modern problems” implies that we need modern solutions. An evolutionary mindset demands an evolution in all thought – both human and divine. It clamors for a new ethic, more flexible and adapted to the shifting mores of men. Progressive political candidates habitually call for the Church to hitch its theology to the wandering star of public opinion, rather than remain tied to some outdated idea of transcendent and absolute truth. But what if our problems are not new? What if they are just more technologically advanced versions of the same old problem – the problem man has faced from the very beginning?
It is a grave danger to view our problems as modern problems in need of modern solutions. As one theologian has noted, “what modern problems need are ancient solutions.” This is no new idea. The Apostle Paul noted the same thing. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul spoke of a world coming apart at the seams – a world in which men, animated by self-love are going from bad to worse, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Yet, he does not instruct Timothy to abandon the old ways and find modern approaches or a way to ‘coexist.’ He charges him sternly to follow the old paths, to apply the ancient truths of God’s word to the ‘modern problems’ of his age – the same problems that confront us today.
Join us this Sunday, May 5, as we examine 2 Timothy 3:1-17 and consider the ancient solution to our modern problems We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.