#1153 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 15 November 2015.
Author and journalist Roy Williams presented the annual Smith Lecture in Sydney last week, examining reasons for the recent rise in secularisation.
He said many Australians “have either no idea what the Christian religion is offering, or they have rejected what they mistakenly think it is offering.”
Increasing secularisation was attributable to four factors: ignorance about issues of faith; the impact of the horror of global war; the view that empirical science is the only reliable source of knowledge; and – arguably the biggest of all – prosperity, or material affluence.
Mr Williams said material comfort acted as a kind of spiritual soporific, there was a reduced consciousness of death until old age, and technology distraction has created a world where there was far less time for quiet, uninterrupted spiritual contemplation.
“But at core it’s a question of personal priorities,” he said. As the Apostle Paul warned, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.