Reflections on Ecclesiastes
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after (Ecc. 1:9-11).Every generation looks back at the previous generation and regards them as backward, but they forget the next generation will do the same. Supporting abortion is looked at as being progressive, but child sacrifice has existed for thousands of years.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it (George Santayana)." Francis Schaeffer in his book, How should we then live?, describes the characteristics of the downfall of a civilization.
"First, a mounting love of show and luxury (that is, affluence); second, a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor (this could be among countries in the family of nations as well as in a single nation); third, and obsession with sex; fourth, freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, and enthusiasms pretending to be creativity; fifth, an increased desire to live off the state."This book, however, was not describing the Western world, it was describing the decline and fall of the Roman empire. We have made a lot of progress, only to come full circle.