Survival of the Latest

By Jaime Nava

For you Windows users who click on the blue “E” to access the internet, you’d better get ready. At the middle of this month, if you’re not using Internet Explorer 11 (the latest version), then you won’t receive technical support from Micro$oft for your browser anymore. What kind of impact does this have? It could mean vulnerabilities to viruses and such. Don’t know which version you have? Don’t know what Internet Explorer is? Don’t know what a browser is? Then you probably already have viruses that you’ll need your 13-year-old grandson to clean up for you. In any event, out with the old and in with the new. Although I understand why they are phasing out older version of IE, it gave me pause to consider our constant longing for something new because the latest is greatest.

I am a fan of history. I also enjoy philosophy. It’s really fascinating to see how the past and its ideas impacts what we do today. I think Darwin and those like him have deeply influenced how we think. There’s a prevailing ideology that newer is inherently progress. Although there are hipsters who are trying pipes and old folk that long for the good old days, when we consider a timeframe longer than one life, we see this thinking. Consider these questions. Are we smarter than people in the Medieval Ages? Are we better off than people two thousand years ago? Pick a time and ask yourself the question, have we progressed into better? I’m of the mind that the average person on the street would say yes. Internet Explorer 11 is better because it’s newer, right? So Darwin has camped out in the back of our mind. Those Neanderthals and knuckle draggers were idiots but not us. Oh no. We have smartphones that we use while driving tons of metal at speeds that Pharaoh wished he could have had. So to have the latest means to have the greatest.

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Are we better? Are we at the tip of progress? Did you know there was a design for a (mostly) automated calculator from the 1800’s? Have we built anything like the Colosseum in Rome? Do we still marvel at the pyramids? What sort of progress do we have that compares to that? We don’t know how to memorize anymore. Elections are run on entertainment value. Cancer and diabetes are an epidemic. I suppose we can even compare this to this. We are not better. We have technology, sure, but we haven’t truly progressed.

The truth is that human nature is as corrupt as it was in The Fall. We can develop bigger machines to make bigger things or smaller ones to distract us when we’re sitting on the toilet. We’re still as cursed as Cain and Abel. The same thing occurs that has occurred for millennia. We will die (barring the return of Christ). There will be an Internet Explorer 1,627th long after you. Although our clothes and tech are different we still have the problem of sin and death and no evolution or progress will ever be rid of those.

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Along with sin and The Fall is God’s Word. Truly this is timeless because it was there in fact to create time. It was there to comfort Adam and Eve with a promise for a seed of salvation. It was there to credit Abraham with righteousness. It was there to lead Moses. It was there to restore David after his adultery and murder. It was there in the flesh on Christmas Day, to grow in stature and wisdom, to be baptized, to be tempted, to be left alone to die on the cross, to rise on the third day, just like He said, to send our apostles to make disciples, to have pastors pour water on people’s heads, to place forgiveness on people’s lips, to have ear drums ringing with the sound of mercy. This promise is for you and for your offspring. Death isn’t the final Word. The final Word is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

So with the time we have, let us step away from our superiority complex and into a pew. Let us look to Christ with humility and thankfulness. Let us look forward to the day when He returns to renew all things. The world around us will change. Our bodies will change. Progress will progress into something else. We’re no better than those before us or after us. We all sin and so will our kids. What we need is what doesn’t change. The greatest is the Christ, the First and the Last.

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