I found a newspaper article from The Times I saved over a decade years ago, penned by the Nigerian author, Ben Okri. The title was striking; ‘Our false oracles have failed. We need a new vision to live by.’ He uses striking imagery to conjure up what he sees as the way in which the more society has succeeded, the more its heart has failed.
Bearing in mind that things have moved on considerably since then, much that he writes seems to strike a chord. Education, art, politics, the Church (indeed faith generally, together with secularism) – all have been disembowelled – blowtorched. Yet with what can they be replaced? Okri finishes by saying that ‘we must transform ourselves or perish.’
You might expect me to say this, but transformation is absolutely at the heart of the Christian Faith – the idea that through faith in Jesus Christ, we are on a life-long journey. The Church in the West seems in a perilous state, from the wicked scandal of abuse to seeming irrelevance. Yet at its core is the fundamental understanding of the call of all peoples to acknowledge that they are connected to each other through the God who is love. Day by day thousands of people around the world find out who they are called to be when they turn to Jesus Christ. In Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor: 15: 22)
Forget ‘online’ or ‘social media’ life – this is true life – no oracles are needed.
With all best wishes