Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Age of Disillusionment

“I would go so far as to say that never has there been a greater opportunity for preaching than there is today, because we are living in an age of disillusionment. The Victorian age, last century, was an age of optimism. People were carried away by the theory of evolution and development, and the poets sang about the coming of ‘the parliament of man and the federation of the world’. We would banish war and all would be well, and the world would be one great nation. They really believed that sort of thing. Nobody believes it by now apart from an odd representative here and there of the old ‘social gospel’ of the pre-1914 era. We have lived to see the fallacy of that old optimistic liberalism, and we are living in an age of disillusionment when men are desperate. That is why we are witnessing this student protest and every other kind of protest; that is why people are taking drugs. It is the end of all the optimism of the liberals. It was bound to lead to this because it was wrong in its basic conceptions, its origin, in its very thinking. We are seeing the end of all that. Is not this then the very time when the door is wide open for the preaching of the Gospel?
The age in which we are living is so similar to the first century in many respects. The old world was exhausted then. The flowering period of Greek philosophy had come and had gone, Rome in a sense had passed her zenith, and there was the same kind of tiredness and weariness, with consequent turning to pleasure and amusement. The same is so true today; and so, far from saying that we must have less preaching and turn more and more to other devices and expedients, I say that we have a heaven-sent opportunity for preaching.”
-Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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