Sunday, August 15, 2010

To Change the World....or Maybe Not

Whack A Mole for Jesus
Recently, I have been reflecting that there may be a big difference between "Human Doings" and Human Beings.  We seem to get our self worth from what we can do, rather than who we really are.  We need to be busy, to do something, rather than being content with just being.

And much of this may be due to fear; the fear of being powerless, and the fear of not making a big difference in the world.  We like it when we think we are making a big difference, when we are changing the world, so to speak.  When we are shiny, and happy, and powerful, and cool.

This past month, I read a fascinating book entitled "To Change The World", which is ironically subtitled "The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World".  After reading, I am of the opinion that this work should be required reading for those of us who have spent far too many years inside the safe and cozy confines of evangelical Christianity.

James Davidson Hunter, the author (not a turncoat, he is a believing person), provides a very helpful overview of where a variety of sects of Christian culture stand, how they (we) got there, and what the implications of their thinking mean in our modern world.  Largely, this book reminded me of how seldom I and my crowd take the time to critically self examine our motives, and, in turn, how goofy we must look to the world at large.  Quite goofy.

I must share with you one of the crucial premises of this book, in order to illustrate its potential impact:
"At the end of the day, the message is clear: even if not in the lofty realms of political life that he was called to, you too can be a Wilberforce.  In your own sphere of influence, you too can be an Edwards, a Dwight, a Booth, a Lincoln, a Churchill, a Dorothy Day, a Martin Luther King, a Mandela, a Mother Theresa, a Vaclav Havel, a John Paul II, and so on.  If you have the courage and the hold to the right values and if you think Christianly with an adequate Christian worldview, you too can change the world.

This account is almost wholly mistaken."

How is that for a starter? 

But, as the book progresses, one finds very thoughtful and detailed arguments of both the evangelical Christian right, the liberal social-justice Christian Left, and the detachment of the Anabaptists.  It takes time, thought, reflection and effort, but I think this book is one of the most careful surveys of the landscape of American Christian political thought in a long time.

So, if we are delusional in thinking we can be earth shakers - just because of our faith, what are we to do? 

More thoughts soon....

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Angel Flight

My half-brother, a former US Air Force pilot, sent me the link to this video today.  Quite touching, and worthy of sharing with others.

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