By Alan Bailey
The knowledge explosion of recent decades seems to have intensified. The vocabulary of our world of electronic gadgetry expands almost daily. The mobile phone is only incidentally a phone; it performs so many other wonders and the list keeps growing.
Children of today grow up in a different world from the one of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. They take the computer games for granted. They accept Google as a giant benefactor and meet their friends on social media. They hope for a pad or pod for Christmas. Meanwhile, there are adults who play computer games with as much enthusiasm as kids and wear their phones close to their hearts.
Around the world there are clever people who sit down every day trying to think up some new thing; some extension to our knowledge and capability in a host of different fields. Just how mind-boggling this is for those who have not caught up on last year's developments (or the year before that). Keeping up is something many people, especially the elderly, can't do.
Probably the ugliest feature of the Internet is the way it is being used by bullies, cheats, and lately, the violent extremists. The heart of man is being exposed.
Where are we heading?
It is impossible for mere mortals like you and me to predict where all this is leading us. We can see that life is becoming impersonal, and in a way, unnatural. It is more press-button, more self- centred, more amusement oriented. We have a knowledge explosion, but we don't have an explosion of love and understanding between people. We may have marvellous medical breakthroughs to celebrate, but we are still a sick society where violence stalks the land, cutting down innocent victims. We have plenty of psychological techniques and expertise, but we have unhappy and mixed-up people down every street.
I may sound a bit old-fashioned, but I believe that the things that really matter are available to us all, regardless of our background, whether we are educated or uneducated. The knowledge that counts can be accepted by anyone provided they are willing to step out in faith.
The words of Jesus were so simple and powerful that the Bible says that "the common people heard Him gladly." Little wonder. He understood people. He loved them. He cared about them. So with loving invitations and loving warnings He told people what life was all about and what really matters in a world where we have so muddled what is really important, especially in the light of eternity.
Knowing God is the greatest kind of knowing. Knowing something of the Creator's purposes and plans excels any other knowledge. Knowing that you have eternal life in Christ is worth more than the best education. The great missionary, Paul, said "I know [Jesus] whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him" (2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 12).