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You are here: Home  > Faith Alive! | February 2010

Faith Alive! | February 2010

In Faith Alive! this issue:

  • What’s on the web?
  • RTGAA?
  • Old and new
  • The power of poetry in the Old Testament (4)
  • The papyrus detective puzzle
  • Nehemiah (4)
  • What is archaeology?
  • The personal side of archaeology
  • Archaeology sound bites
  • Gemariah’s seal
  • Basic Bible principles
  • Archaeology online
  • The stone shall cry out …
  • The Commandments of Christ (15)
  • The world and our morality (2)
  • Ready To Give An Answer (RTGAA)?
  • The wonder of water

A sample article from this edition:

Old and new

IN the modern world new things tend to get old rather fast. People (including us) are always on the lookout for the next best thing – new technology, new fashions – the “must have” list changes all the time. New things appeal to us as exciting and fresh – but does that make them worthwhile? Fashions come and go. What we wear now will be recycled in a slightly different form in a few decades as a ‘new fashion’. What you possess now will soon be “so last year”. You may see it all as harmless fun being on the cutting edge, but does it last?

It can be far too easy to oversimplify things and label ‘new’ as good and ‘old’ as bad or somehow deficient. But simplifications like this are often unhelpful. The Bible’s challenge – God’s challenge – is for us to differentiate in our lives between what is worthwhile on an eternal basis and what will not last.

Some new things are great. At one time the message brought by the Lord Jesus was new to his hearers – he described his own teaching as “new wine” and for his hearers it wasn’t going to be as good as the old wine – it needed new bottles, new containers willing to accept it. By the same token some old things are great too: the same message is now nearly 2,000 years old and is still transforming lives, if those lives are willing containers of the “new” message.

Really old things that have lasted can teach us lessons about ourselves as well as give information about the past. In ages gone by kings and rulers built monuments, temples and tombs to make sure they did not become “so last year”. They tried so hard to stay remembered and memorable. To a degree some of them have achieved what they set out to do – but not in the way they intended. After all, who really remembers what made Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt tick? Who knows the things that were important to Sennacherib king of Assyria? Archaeology can tell us something of what they did and remains are preserved of what they built, but not who they were as individuals.

By comparison, the old things contained in the scriptures have enduring value for life and it is these enduring things that will be remembered by God. While the writer of Ecclesiastes said that “there is nothing new under the sun” and each generation thinks it is cutting edge, will the values and the things we do and think last forever? Lasting values are what we should be looking for and it’s these that God asks for.

We can and should learn from the past, applying eternal principles to a modern and fast changing world. But we shouldn’t make the mistake of being caught up in the moment; instead, we should try to be caught up in the eternal. In the end God will make all things new and former things will become “so last year”.

Edward carr – Editor


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