By: Sheridan Voysey
Five hundred years ago the Renaissance brought an explosion of art, science, geographical discovery and religious ideas into the world. What would it take to see a new renaissance (rebirth) of wisdom, creativity, community and faith in this coming decade?
That was the theme I was given to speak on at this year’s Christian Media and Arts Australia conference in May. Usually held on the Gold Coast, a Covid pivot took the event online and to an even wider audience (you can access the whole conference replay here).
While my message is focussed on Australian broadcasters and church leaders, I believe there’s something in it for all people of faith. As you’ll see, I get a bit passionate. The world is in a mess. Many Christians are falling for conspiracy theories. We need a new renaissance and these commitments can help deliver it.
The first Renaissance was a ‘rebirth’ of human ability and creativity. At its peak, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael produced their artworks, Columbus made his discoveries, Copernicus set off the Scientific Revolution, and Luther started the Reformation. What kind of commitments will help us see a new renaissance of faith today? Here are some key points from the video.
The first Renaissance was a time of new truth and discovery. Reason and reflection was its heartbeat. In an age of hype, spin, conspiracy theories and global confusion, Christians need to be people of Holy Spirit-inspired wisdom too.
A note on Christians and conspiracy theories
With surveys suggesting some Christians are more prone to sharing conspiracy theories, we have a role to play in combatting disinformation—both exposing fake claims and helping people discern verifiable from unverifiable stories:
In the first Renaissance the individual stepped out of the crowds and onto the stage, with human ability, potential and genius celebrated. While this brought some good things, it also set in motion forces we’re living with today like secularism and hyper individualism, with their crises of meaning and ‘deaths of despair’. In an age of alienation we are called to be hospitable.
The ‘age of outrage’ is driving people into extreme political, religious and social groups. Instead we will model civility:
Jesus showed us who is on God’s heart: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, merciful, and persecuted.
The Reformation was triggered by Catholic Church corruptions. It wouldn’t be the last time reform would be needed. As Os Guinness has said, secularism is the exorbitant price the church is paying for the sins of its past. Every generation of Christians faces temptations to compromise with the world. We must be faithful.
Article supplied with thanks to Sheridan Voysey.
About the Author: About the Author: Sheridan Voysey is an author and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His latest book is called Reflect with Sheridan. Download his FREE inspirational printable The Creed here.
Feature image: The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci