Daniel Harrison | Church 212
Prince Charles’ The Great Reset conversation to build a better post-pandemic society is honorable, but it has some people worried.
In this post, I want to share what I believe is the greatest barrier to a global reset, yet encourage you with hope for the future.
Have you ever been in a situation where things were outside of your control?
Growing up in the South, I have experienced many Tornado warnings. All we could do was bunker down, pray, and hope for the best.
Well, today there are myriads of things outside our control. The global pandemic, ongoing political turmoil, random terrorist attacks, riots, to name a few. Now, you would think we have advanced as a society to the point we can handle these issues right?
This is a key point in brilliant historian Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Sapiens.
He writes we have the capability to handle these issues. His viewpoint is that we don’t need God because we’ve advanced so much as a civilization that we are God. Humans only reached out to God in pre-scientific eras, because they didn’t have the knowledge we have today.
His argument is a reasonable idea. Although, I’d like to give you a perspective to think about.
We don’t need religion
“At the dawn of the third millennium, humanity wakes up to an amazing realization. Most people rarely think about it, but in the last few decades, we have managed to reign in famine plague and war…”
By the way, this was written in 2015, a while before the 2020 pandemic.
“Of course these problems haven’t been completely solved, but they have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. We don’t need to pray to any God or saint to rescue us from them. We know quite well what needs to be done in order to prevent famine, plague and war and we usually succeed in doing it. ” 1
The enlightenment movement of the 19th century pushed this forward, when thinkers said we don’t need religion because of human reason and scientific knowledge.
Today, main stream new atheists push this too, people like Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris.
And I’m not here to tear them down. I don’t believe in using the straw man method of building someone up with their ideas just to dogmatically tear them down with my ideas. That’s not who I am. Harai and Hawkins are very intelligent people.
I love reading their ideas and am an open person myself.
I am simply writing this because I would like you to consider a different possibility, that maybe we don’t have the capability to solve these world problems. Maybe we are not in control as much as we think.
Bill Gates actually warned everyone in a Ted Talk years before that we weren’t ready for a pandemic. And if you turn on the news, you can see we are not headed toward a more just, free, and prosperous future.
The problem isn’t outside of human nature
I submit to you that (most of) the problems we are facing today are not outside human nature (just apply the scientific method and everything will workout), but inside human nature (what only the gospel can heal). Technological advancements can’t cure our human problem.Technological advancements can't cure our human problem. Click To Tweet
Tim Keller talks about this in his book, “Hope In Times of Fear.“
One author, in his review on the Enlightenment movement, basically said, okay how is technological advancements going to help with our discontent, depression, drug abuse?
Since we live in such an advanced liberal society, with more scientific knowledge than ever before, how will this help our despair, addiction, and loneliness?
We are trying to ascend progressively into a better future. We’re hoping that human reason, better legislation, and scientific advancements can get us there. But these have all flopped.
Technology has greatly helped the planet, but in many ways it has made things worse. War and terrorism is pushed by it, globalization exacerbated the pandemic spread, big company news media not only divide us, but confuse us with conflicting narratives.
Social media has certainly made us more connected than ever before. However, we are now the most self-conscious, anxiously depressed, and lonely generation of all time.
One hundred years ago, H.G. Wells believed the same thing as Hurari.
He missioned that the scientific method is the solution for a better future. But then came two world wars, a flu pandemic, and The Great Depression.
On his deathbed he recounted the bombings, murders of children, rapings, and death camps. With a broken spirit, he admitted that humanity has failed as the highest species.
The Great Reset
Not sure if you have heard about The Great Reset or not.
In June 2020, during the middle of the pandemic, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, invited many high profile business and political leaders from around the world to come together around one theme. How can we rebuild our world society? How can we strengthen our global economy?
The video begins by saying the pandemic has radically changed the world as we know it, and the actions we take today as we recover will define our generation. Now is the time to think differently about our future (and I don’t disagree with that).
One quote said,
“Recovery from the pandemic is an opportunity. We can see rays of hope in the form of a vaccine. But there is no vaccine for the planet. Nature needs a bailout.” World Economic Forum, YouTube
So they’re talking about a great reset for the world. This, of course, has some Christians freaking out (one world order of Revelation). I think coming together to build a better future is wonderful, and I am hopeful for good things from this.
But I also believe human efforts will never solve the true world problem.
Have you read Lord of the Flies? A group of young boys stranded on an island did not create a fresh society, it led to violence and tribalism. Unless we deal with the evil within our hearts, The Great Reset will only restart our problems.Unless we deal with the evil within our hearts, The Great Reset will only restart our problems. Click To Tweet
God reset the word in Genesis 6 with a worldwide flood. Look where we are today.
Our problems aren’t structural issues outside of human nature, they are spiritual issues within human nature.
The Gospel Reset
As Tim Keller says,
“The greatest threat for hope isn’t the natural environment, but the evils that spring from the human heart.” 3
This echoes the words of Jesus in Matthew 15:19,
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
The greatest barrier to a joyful life lies with our willingness to embrace Jesus, who offers the solution to the world problem. The World Economic Forum is right when it said nature needs a bailout, but not quite right that, “there is no vaccine for the planet.”
This Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. What’s fascinating is that the resurrection is actually about resetting the world.
When I hear the phrase, The Great Reset, I’m thinking, yeah, that’s exactly what Jesus is doing. But it’s through the lens of the Gospel.
The Gospel Reset.
This blog was a reworked excerpt from an Easter message I recently presented, entitled The Gospel Reset, where I share three benefits of the resurrection for our lives now.
The gospel is the true vaccine, the bailout we are looking for.
The message has a little more philosophical talk than I usually do. But I know my generation is asking questions churches aren’t answering. And we are answering questions they aren’t asking.
I hope this message will connect with you. Reach out and give me your thoughts!