A sub-narrative of history has been the story of man attempting to solve his problems. His successes are inevitably short-lived. Indeed, for all the “progress”, which is never more than a generation away from regress, he has never been able to solve the one problem that would solve all the others. All of man’s attempts to solve his problems, whether it be medicine, education, government, or religion, have been nothing more than temporary relief. If history is any kind of measure of what lies ahead then it seems man is doomed to live his days in despair deluding himself with notions of love and peace and joy, mere trivialities and frivolities in the face of his inevitable death and the fact of his inability to change anything for the better that will last any significant length. What is more, there may be an eternity awaiting man in the which, many spiritual traditions say, he may suffer for all his many sins.
In what a terrible condition does man find himself! Must man accept his fate? Is there something that can be done? I grant myself the audacity to assert that to both questions the Christian Scriptures, and history, answer “Yes”. Man must accept his fate for there is nothing he can do about it. Yet, this does not mean that nothing can be done.
It is precisely the claim of the Scriptures that what man can not do himself, God Himself came to earth to do, namely, to atone for the sins of mankind and appease His eternal wrath. By the end of time, God will have cleansed this earth of sin and it will have been resurrected to perfection.
I wonder, if the solution of the Scriptures is mere myth, the fancy of “iron-age peasants” as certain atheistic thinkers are fond of saying, what better solution is there in which man should place his faith?
It is at this junction of the conversation at which some zealous skeptic will say, “But of course, science! Reason!”. I think the 20th century, if studied with an objective mind, will properly dispel this notion. This was the century which was supposed to be the pinnacle of the achievement of the Enlightenment. It was supposed to show how well man could do without the contrivances of God and revelation. It was supposed to show us the success of science and reason. Well, guided only by the wiles of men, what hath they wrought! It seems obvious to me that science and reason are tools much like a saw. Useful when used per the Manufacturer’s specifications and with certain precautions but deadly otherwise.
May God, in His wisdom, grant us the knowledge we need to navigate the waves of life safely. And, I’m sure He will.