I can distinctly remember the teacher in my grammar school telling us that Long Island was sold to the settlers for seashells called wampum. I can also remember our response, which was laughter, including my own. That the clothes we were wearing, the homes we lived in, indeed the services of the very teacher who told us these things, were purchased with pieces of paper had totally escaped me.
Its funny how the passage of time provides those who come later with a different perspective on historical events than was held by those who lived through them. Yet the different perspective provided by that same passage of time is not objective, for the view of historical events through the lens of a different age comes with its on cultural prejudices and blind spots.
But scripture gives us a reference point that transcends the ages. By God's grace, and a true understanding of reality and scripture, perhaps we can seek to break free from the prejudices and blind spots common with our age and prevent travesties not yet etched into stone by their slipping from present to past. But such an undertaking must, to be authentic, not reek of conformity to the times, for such conformity was a mark of those travesties past.
If you like this article, you might also find "Living In The Here And Now" and "The Tyranny Of The Times" interesting.
Majesty and Humility - David's Psalm 8 begins with the glorious, "O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens...