“In the book “The Third Wave”, Toffler describes three types of societies, based on the concept of ‘waves’—each wave pushes the older societies and cultures aside.
* The First Wave is the settled agricultural society which prevailed in much of the world after the Neolithic Revolution, which replaced hunter-gatherer cultures.
* The Second Wave is Industrial Age society. The Second Wave began in Western Europe with the Industrial Revolution, and subsequently spread across the world. Key aspects of Second Wave society are the nuclear family, a factory-type education system and the corporation. Toffler writes:”The Second Wave Society is industrial and based on mass production, mass distribution, mass consumption, mass education, mass media, mass recreation, mass entertainment, and weapons of mass destruction. You combine those things with standardization, centralization, concentration, and synchronization, and you wind up with a style of organization we call bureaucracy.”
* The Third Wave is the post-industrial society. Toffler says that since the late 1950s most countries have been transitioning from a Second Wave society into a Third Wave society. He coined many words to describe it and mentions names invented by others, such as the Information Age”
This third wave most likely really began with the early computers at the end of World War II and matured in 1971 with the development of the microchip. This information age was also parallel with medical knowledge/technology that made everything prior to it seem primitive.
I believe that the “Virus Crisis” of 2020 will be the beginning of the “Fourth Wave” with a radical restructuring of society. This may well be the “decentralized age” where workers move back to the homes to work, more focus is placed on preventing illness then curing it, and a whole new type of relationships are built that don’t require physical presence. Every aspect of society will be impacted and it would appear that these changes may be worldwide.
There will be advantages and disadvantages to this the “Fourth Wave” culture as there has been for each of the times that brought about huge changes to society. The printing press lowered the cost of a bible from $20,000 to $1.00. Yet it also allowed the creation of pornography fo the first time to the masses.
Now the Bible and huge amounts of research materials on it are free on the worldwide web allowing research of the scriptures as never before in history. Yet, this same technology promotes sexual sin as never before in history.
These are just small examples that the shift in cultures have on us. Toffler in another book warns us of “Culture Shock” which can occur as the changes in society happen faster than we can handle them.
The people of God must prayerfully and carefully prepare to be the voice and presence of the Living Christ in this new “Fourth Wave” to effectively bear witness of Messiah Jesus in this new world that is forming out of the ashes of the the “Third Wave” civilization.