The world has changed. We are not the same people we were on September 10, 2001. The events of September 11, 2001, and the events that followed in ensuing years have not only changed America but nations and peoples throughout the world. People are more afraid and less naïve. People are more aware of the differences between world religions and of the different cultures of those world religions. People are either more antagonistic towards the religion of their fathers or they are more committed adherents. There are fewer and fewer merely nominal religious bystanders and more and more radical adherents. In ten short years, we have emerged a changed human race — a race of people with a few different norms and many different perspectives, different words and different definitions of words. Those things that once seemed foreign are now familiar, and those things we thought we would never see are now boldly marching down Main Street and entering our homes in ways we never dreamed possible. It has been a rapidly changing ten years, and most people are still trying to figure out what to make of our brave new world.
September 11, 2001, is a day that is burned into our memories. In the history of the world, humanity has never been a witness to such horrendous terror via live video footage. It is our generation’s dreadful day of infamy. Ten years later, and we have not forgotten the murdered or their families, the heroes or the villains. Terrorist attacks are not isolated to America, nor are they isolated to a particular time in history. That dreadful day was not the start of something new but the consequence of something very old. The historic evil of that sad day ten years ago is a symptom of the historic evil of the day of the fall of man.
Since the fall, such sins have been common to all men everywhere, and the works of sinful flesh are evident: terrorist attacks at the hands of committed and conservative Muslims; murderous crusades led by cross-draped and body-armored biblically confused crusaders in the name of Christ; indiscriminate mass murders by fame-seeking, face-masked American high school students; discriminatory holocausts fueled by the psychotic minds of nationally appointed madmen; and government-supported, socially accepted infanticide in the once safe wombs of inconvenienced women and their self-centered, irresponsible “men.”
Although the horrific events of September 11, 2001, sent shock waves throughout the world, our sovereign God was neither shocked nor surprised, and though the world has changed and will continue to change, the one and only God of the Bible has not changed but is forever changing His world by building His kingdom through the advance of the gospel by His sovereign hand and for His own glory.
Dr. Burk Parsons (@BurkParsons) is editor of Tabletalk magazine, senior pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow. He is cotranslator and coeditor of A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin.