Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” It never ceases to amaze me how these words of Solomon’s, written 3,000ish years ago, are so precisely true today. Solomon’s words especially ring true when you look at the theological and spiritual trends that are popular today. Theologically speaking, there is definitely nothing new under the sun.
In theology, the two biggest controversies of the early church were the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Any disagreements on those doctrines today? Um…yeah! There are tens of millions of adherents to pseudo-Christian cults that deny the deity of Christ and/or the Trinity. In the pages of the New Testament, several writers had to deal with disagreements over the role the Old Testament Law has in the life of the Christian. The whole “Hebrew roots movement” that is gaining steam today is nothing but the Judaizers of the New Testament being revived (Galatians 2:16; 3:11; 5:12).
We have followers of Christ who attempt to use the grace of God as a license to sin (Romans 6). We have followers of Christ who go to the opposite extreme and turn the Christian life into a list of dos and don’ts (Colossians 2:21). We have entire denominations of Christians who do the exact opposite of what Paul prescribed in 1 Corinthians 14. We have churches dividing based on their favorite famous teacher (1 Corinthians 3). Many of us have still not grown past elementary matters (Hebrews 6:1-2).
Even in those who attack and oppose the Christian faith, there is nothing new under the sun. There has been a recent reinvigoration of the claims that the “legend” of Jesus Christ is nothing but a copy of the ancient myths involving Horus, Mithras, Osiris, etc. The early church fathers refuted these claims centuries ago. Morally speaking, the biggest complaint against Christianity has been, and always will be, that it forbids people from having sex with whomever and whatever they want, whenever they want.
There is nothing new under the sun. That is why the Bible is so eminently relevant. The issues it addressed 2,000 years ago are still issues today. The people it describes experienced the same trials, temptations, and struggles that we do today. The doctrinal and theological confusions and disagreements the early church debated are still being argued today.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
S. Michael Houdmann