Okay, there’s something a bit weird about recommending an internet article about not relying on online sources as primary sources of research, but Tim Chester’s piece helpfully explores the challenges of an age where there is a glut of information, but a growing famine of wisdom.
From the post:
We are a nation of news junkies. We want the latest information all the time. We dismiss that which is old in favour of the latest. ‘Have you heard the latest?’ we cry. Resist the need to have the latest facts immediately after they unfold. But little of today’s news will prove significant in months to come. Opt instead for considered reflection.
When it comes to theology and the Christian life, value old books. At the very least, it is arrogant to assume that our generation has more knowledge and wisdom than previous generations. In some fields, such as the physical sciences, this may be true as we build on the achievements of those who went before. But theology and spirituality are different. The gospel is not a developing body of knowledge with new discoveries. It does need to be applied afresh to each generation, but the truth itself is unchanging.
Moreover the passage of time involves an inherent process of selection. Every generation produces both gold and dross. Not everything old is good just as not everything new is dross. The advantage that the old has is that time has sifted the gold from the dross. The books that come down to us are more likely to be those which have stood the test of time within a particular community. With the new there has been no such process.
Read the whole article here.