Our World is Changing Too Fast, But … by Rob Schwarzwalder

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By Rob Schwarzwalder, a Senior Contributor, The Stream, January 4, 2019

Rob SchwarzwalderThe world’s changing rapidly, but there’s nothing wrong with change. We all need productive disruption. Same-old gets pretty tedious. We get bored and stale without challenges. And as God works in our lives, He uses sandpaper as often as not. We’re on a journey and on journeys you have to react to surprises.

But the pace of our world’s massive changes makes me feel anxious. Everything’s changing so fast. I have to keep up. Bad things can happen when you fall behind. But I can’t keep up.

Knowledge and Events Overload

For example, human knowledge increases at an incredible rate. As Tim Sandle reports in Digital Times, “by 1950 human knowledge doubled every 25 years. In 2000, human knowledge would double every year. Now, our knowledge is almost doubling every day.”

While most of this knowledge is pretty technical, some of it is revolutionary. Consider such things as human gene editing, artificial intelligence, alternative currencies, printing metal from a copying machine, quantum computing — these are but a few of the things coming down the pike. And most of them could turn out bad.

Some of these things are scary. Like “designer babies” and human-like robots.

Then there’s the sheer volume of news hitting us all the time. The old days of 30-minute network news summaries are long gone. From our hand-helds to our flatscreens, we have instant access to information about elections in the Congo, the impending collapse of Social Security, an entertainer’s obscenity-laced comedy special, Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, and the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. We hear that China is stealing our most advanced technologies and that Vladimir Putin claims to be building impregnable super-weapons.

Who’s a one day sensation I can ignore? What do I have to follow because it’s going to change the world? Foreign and domestic policies and personalities spin around us like a whirlpool. A lot of us feel as though we’re about to get sucked-in.

And on a lighter note, what sports fan can keep up with 30 major league baseball teams or 32 NFL franchises? Never mind the NBA, the NCAA, the NHL, MLS ….

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We can’t take it all in any more than we can swallow a flood. And of what we can sort-through, we can’t decide what’s really important and what isn’t. But we need to know. Our lives might depend on it.

Does America Still Have a Culture?

American culture is in a state of vast transition. Cohabitation, no-fault divorce, sexually-transmitted disease, gender confusion, the celebration of homosexuality, abortion, fatherlessness, online dating sites, and child abuse are among the more common results of the sexual revolution.

America’s sense of identity is crumbling. We are confronted not just with the traditional problems of immigrant assimilation but the demand that we accept “multi-culturalism” as a given and a good. We can’t discuss the incoherence of this kind of tribalism, of course, as that would be “hateful.”

Religiously, we’re all over the map. The old-line denominations are dying, uncertainty about the God of the Bible is widespread, and various scandals plague both Protestant and Catholic houses. Many younger Evangelicals and Catholics have accepted the line that not affirming same-sex practice is heartless.

Good but Unsettling News

Yes: There’s some really good news. Advances in pre-natal surgery are saving little lives. Adult stem cell treatments are, too. It’s now pretty normal to see persons of color in political and professional leadership positions. American science research is the best in the world. Our cars are safer and more fuel-efficient than ever. Opportunities in the job market are increasing.

But even some of these good things can be disorienting. Good or bad, the continuous, “What’s next?!” can be exhausting. Yet there’s one constant, a single truth that never changes. One that brings peace in the storm, always. God.

A God Who Never Changes

“Jesus Christ is the same,” the writer of Hebrews tells us, “yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8). With “the Father of lights,” says James, “there is no variation or shadow made by change” (1:17). The Bible calls God a rock, a fortress, a hiding place, a refuge, a defender, a “dread champion” — all for his people. Our shaky, dangerous, unpredictable world doesn’t move Him.

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind,” we read in Numbers. “Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (23:19). The questions invite their own answers: Of course, the Triune God who spoke the universe into being will only tell the truth. And will always keep his word.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is also the God of every believing Tom, Harry, Jane and Mary. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounds in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8).

The God we worship is one whose love never ceases and whose power never declines. His wisdom, presence, and knowledge are not only so vast they can’t be captured by words but so infused with his goodness that they only promise blessing to those who love him.

We live in a churning, changing world. But also one governed by a never-changing God, one who promises to care for his people intimately and faithfully at all times. He’s worth knowing and serving, now and forever.


Rob Schwarzwalder is a Senior Contributor at The Stream and a Senior Lecturer at Regent University. Raised in Washington State, he lived with his family in the suburban D.C. area for nearly 25 years until coming to Regent in the summer of 2016. Rob was Senior Vice-President at the Family Research Council for more than seven years, and previously served as chief-of-staff to two Members of Congress. He was also a communications and media aide to a U.S. Senator and senior speechwriter for the Hon. Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For several years, he was Director of Communications at the National Association of Manufacturers. While on Capitol Hill, he served on the staffs of members of both Senate and House Armed Services Committees and the Senate Committee with oversight of federal healthcare policy.

Rob is focused on the intersection of theology, culture and politics. His background in public policy has been informed by his service on Capitol Hill, the private sector and various Christian ministries. His op-eds have been published in numerous national publications, ranging from TIME and U.S. News and World Report to Christianity Today, The Federalist and The Public Discourse, as well as scores of newspapers and opinion journals. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Fox News, and other leading television and radio programs. Rob’s scholarly publications include studies of such issues as fatherlessness, pornography, federal economic policy and national security.

Rob has done graduate work at George Washington University and holds an M.A. in theology from Western Seminary (Portland, Ore.) and an undergraduate degree from Biola University. He and his wife of 35 years, Valerie, make their home in Virginia Beach and have three children.