Blurring visions

‘While (the Christian) vision is no longer the dominant one (in Australia), and may never have been, neither is any other at the moment. There is as yet no other vision abroad in our society which commands the same authority as ours does, the same sense of being the bottom line, the great reserve to be called on in times of real need. Many of the themes of the rallies are necessary problem solving and little more, and much in the spiritual supermarket is fair weather stuff, adjuncts to a prosperity which may now be vanishing. Unbelief, once a daring and rather aristocratic gesture, must now have exhausted most of its glamour; it is certainly no longer exclusive, or particularly rebellious. Much the same could be said of sexual indulgence, pornography and the like. Having by now surely lost most of its flavour of forbidden fruit, sexual licence has to justify itself in terms of whatever real satisfaction it can give; its utility as a bait to draw people out of traditional ways and beliefs, and if possible into new allegiances, must by now also be wearing thin. And it will be difficult at the very least, for the cult of unremitting youthfulness and physical beauty to survive in the era of aging populations which it has helped to produce. By now liberal humanism is as badly fragmented by dissension as our witness ever was, and its fiercest adherents are often covertly uneasy at its lack of gentleness, its readiness to force the facts and its desolate this-worldliness. Its unrelenting adulthood forces people onto the thorns of tragic complexity and the strange intractability of the world, and often when people who subscribe to it relax for a moment, their eyes are seen to contain an almost desperate appeal: please prove us wrong, make us believe there is more to it than this, show us your God and that Grace you talk about. We are more widely judged on our own best terms than we think, and more insistently expected to be the keepers of the dimension of depth than we find comfortable’. – Les A. Murray, ‘Some Religious Stuff I Know About Australia’ in The Shape of Belief: Christianity in Australia Today (ed. Dorothy Harris, et al.; Homebush West: Lancer, 1982), 25–6.

2 comments

  1. Thanks Jason. I reckon “Les, you’ve nailed it”! No real alternatives! It’s actually a good problem to have. Even if so many find it so annoying to have to admit! cheers, TF

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  2. Our problem today stems from our lack of appreciation of the intellectual nature of the message which God has communicated to us in the Holy Writ. Because we go for the emotional, the heart, and explain away and evade and avoid like the plague the rational message, we miss the whole show. Thus our ministry becomes fluff, ephemeral, superficial. And we miss the heart, too, because we lack the solid objective, factual reality of the Divine communique. We don’t understand it. Therefore we can’t achieve our objectives. The profundity of Divine simplicity is pratically beyond our comprehension. The clarity of Scripture is our waterloo. We are defeated, because we think we grasp what God is saying when we really do not and cannot without His help. Such a reality is actually stated in the Book, I Cors.2:14, et. al.

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