A brisk walk through any bookstore, especially those sections labeled Religious, Inspirational, or New Age, will reveal a plethora of volumes dedicated to the search for Truth. Many of these books have been written in the last ten, or even five years. If we are to believe what is said about the laws of supply and demand, then we should be able to glean from the supply, a picture of what is being demanded.
We see an increase in the sales of the philosophers. Plato, Socrates, St. Augustine, Locke and Lewis are finding their way to book shelves of the young in greater numbers.
Our Lord Jesus spoke of minds as being one of four types of soil: that which is a footpath, that which is stony, that which is shallow, and that which is good.
Looking back on the bookshelves we see a variety of seeds which come to bear fully grown stalks of Humanism, or self-fulfillment, or reincarnation, or Christianity, or any one of a thousand other ideals.
Were we living in an Age of Stony Soil, we would not have the great variety of philosophies and theologies. Instead, the masses would not be searching for Truth and would not purchase these supposed roadmaps to Truth. Books of these kinds would not be written in such great numbers, let alone sold, were we living in such an age.
Were we living in an Age of Shallow Soil, we would see a single burst of sales and a fatal decline shortly after. Religious, inspirational and new age books would be published for a short time, but then the fad would end. Instead, we have an almost perpetual and perennial interest in things beyond ourselves.
Were we living in an Age of Hard Soil, or that of the footpath (and we very may well be), our world would be full of distractions. These distractions, like birds stealing seed, steal our attention which should be devoted to the search for Truth. Looking at the modern entertainment industry, I am not entirely convinced that this is not the case. Yet, even in our entertainment, we seek Truth, as evidenced by movies such as the Matrix and books such as the Harry Potter series. So, at the sight of these examples, I recant and say that we are not in the Age of Hard Soil.
This fourth soil that was spoken of is that soil which receives seeds wholeheartedly and bears their vegetation. A book on spirituality does not sit long on the shelves either in the store or once in a library. This is evidence that we are in the Age of Good Soil.
In this age, Truth is sought and hypocrisy exposed. More now than ever, the eyes of the young are on their elders, searching for inconsistency. Many, especially within the church, have chalked this up to youthful rebelliousness, which they would never have partaken of themselves. On the contrary, I believe that it is a gift.
Who can hold our elders to accountability better than the youth? And who, having set their watchful eyes on the elders are better qualified to correct this world system’s failings. Some may call me overly optimistic, but I see in the young not a hatred of Truth, or an ignorance of it. Instead, I see an ardent desire for it and a strong commitment to whatever is uncovered.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and what is righteousness but the real Truth? If, through their hatred of hypocrisy, the young vote to follow what is true and not be blinded by selfish ambition, then their so called rebelliousness is not the boon to society that it is made to be. The searching, when presented with it, will choose the Truth by their own accord. What a blessing on society!
Jeremy McNabb (firstname.lastname@example.org)was an essayist and apologist for the now defunct SaintSearch.com. He is an aspiring and unpublished novelist. The Age of Good Soil is his third essay on FaithWriters.com.
This is an excellent article. You have a good grasp of what is happening in our world today. I have a few suggestions, however. Hope that's o.k. There is a typo at the end of your 8th paragraph: "Age of Good oil" instead of "soil". It happens to the best of us:) - I know, because one of my poems has a typo; I was mortified.
..."never have partaken of." This is a dangling participle - you should probably change the structure of this sentence.
Your thoughts at this point change into youth and elders - I would like it if you brought back the good soil theme at the end to give the article cohesiveness. Great writing - God bless you as you continue to use your gifts for Him!