Summary: Ther Apostle’s Creed - Maker of Heaven and Earth
At the beginning of the 21st century it seems that we human beings are faced with a huge dilemma. Our understanding of the world we live in is greater now than at any time in history, yet our understanding of our place in that world is perhaps at its lowest point ever.
If you were to come into my office later and connect to the Internet you’d discover unimagined layers of information available to you at the touch of a few keys. There’s more knowledge available to you via your computer today than existed in the entire State Library 50 years ago. But of course in among all the useful information are page upon page of other useless, even offensive material. [Creation: 8,520,000 references]
When you leave later today, most of you will get into a car that has a more sophisticated computer controlling it than the one that was used when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Yet the increase in the number of cars on the road means that you take twice as long to get where you’re going than you did in Neil Armstrong’s day.
Our communication technology has developed to an incredible extent. Mobile phones, satellite systems, Internet chat rooms all mean that people have an unprecedented ability to connect. This sermon will be read by people all around the world sometime today or tomorrow. Yet with all our ability to communicate, people seem to be less connected than ever before.
As technology and science have improved our way of life, we seem to have been slipping in other areas of human knowledge, particularly in the area of belief.
The trouble is that as technology increased during the 19th and into the 20th century humanism began its rise. People began to think that they had the answers. Science and technology would solve all our problems. We wouldn’t need God any more. The biological scientists added their bit with the theory of evolution which suggested that life came about by chance. There was no longer a place for a creator God. Science had shown him to be redundant. We could explain how life came to be the way it is without any reference to a supernatural being.
But then, if life came about by a process of blind chance, where did that place human will? Well, the existentialists had an answer for that. Human will was irrelevant. We’re all subject to the chaos in which we live. Globalisation has made it worse. There’s little we can do to make a difference. So just make the most of what you have. Take your chances when they come. The only certainty in life is death. In the face of that idea you have two choices. Succumb to anxiety or live freely in the face of your own mortality. Flee into the safety of the herd or face the threat of nothingness by creating your own reality.
It’s depressing when you put it like that isn’t it? Yet that’s the underlying philosophy that our children are growing up with. It’s no wonder depression is on the rise is it?
Even those who argue that the human being is the highest form of life because we’re the highest on the evolutionary curve, struggle when they think about the evil behaviour of some of our fellow human beings. The revelations of the mistreatment of prisoners by US Soldiers in Iraq lately leave most of us appalled. How is this army, from the most developed of societies, any further advanced than those of, say, Attila the Hun, or Genghis Khan? You see, this idea that we’ve evolved from lower forms of life doesn’t actually help us when it comes to dealing with evil in the world. There’s no moral imperative in evolution. It’s just the survival of the fittest. If I’ve just got here by accident, by a series of chance events, why should I care whether what I do has any moral standard attached to it?