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The Humpty Dumpty world

December 2005 | by John Thornbury

When we were children we learned about Humpty Dumpty – the big egg who fell off the wall and couldn’t be reassembled. Today we live in a world that also seems to be falling apart. Persons, programs, institutions and ideals that we once thought timeless are fragmenting. Nothing is sacred any more.

In the Humpty Dumpty world there are no fixed truths or lasting values. The big word today is ‘existential’. Don’t bother to look it up in your dictionary – no two people define it the same way.

But basically it means that everything is in flux. Individualism is in, institutions are out. Nothing ‘out there’ is allowed to lock us in to past ideas, beliefs or modes of behaviour. Our subjective feelings are ‘where it’s at’. If it feels good, it is good.

Crazy maths

In any field except morals and religion, a world without absolutes would be considered crazy. Imagine studying mathematics without rules and axioms. The teacher would write 5 x 5 on the blackboard and then tell the class, ‘You fill in the answer. Whatever you think looks good will be right’.

Imagine the public highways without stop signs, traffic lights or speed limits. How would you like driving on a street where everyone does his or her own thing? To say the least, it would not be safe. In the same way, a world that has lost its spiritual road-signs will career off course and crash.


There is an alternative. It is the way proclaimed by the Bible – a way taught by apostles, prophets and above all by Jesus Christ. It is a way that has built nations, hospitals, universities, charities – and changed lives!

It is the way of truth, for Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6). Have you considered this alternative?

C. S. Lewis, who wrote the ever-popular Narniabooks and the famous Screwtapeletters, was one of Oxford’s most brilliant scholars. For years he was sceptical of religion, but was eventually forced by the weight of evidence to embrace the Bible’s way.

Why don’t you look into it for yourself?

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