Wanted: Modern-day Noahs

The story of Noah—for many people a charming story relegated to the youngest Sunday School classes—has a vital and impelling message for today's thinkers. Have we deeply considered its profound meaning, shared its inspiration, and put into practice its instructions? We seem to be on the edge of, if not already immersed in, a flood of even greater proportions than that experienced by Noah. Our society may not be physically covered by water, but it does appear to be submerged in some of the subtlest, grossest elements of materialism that the Western World has ever witnessed. The need to spiritually understand the story of Noah is vital.

What is the context of the Noah story? The Bible tells us that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually"; that "the earth also was corrupt"; and that "the earth was filled with violence." Gen 6:5, 11; Do not each of these ring a bell for the modern historian, looking at today's world? The views of environmentalists, economists, social workers, and crime prevention agencies only underline the fact that, in spite of scattered glimpses of good, society is becoming increasingly polluted by materialism, which Webster defines as "a doctrine that the only or the highest values or objectives lie in material well-being and in the furtherance of material progress." The definition continues, "A preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things."

Discouragement? No, Thank You!
January 24, 1976

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