Is the way that the world runs today the way that is has to be?
What would it take for the world to work a different way?
Can you imagine something better than democracy or an economic system after capitalism?
Is society in its final form?
From 1991-2003, I was taught to read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other – I no longer believe that.
In my short lifetime I have seen so many predictions come and go. I have seen layers and layers of moving onto the next thing a passage means without even acknowledging that 6 months ago we were told it was something different.
I just had a talk this weekend with a denomination leader about how end-times expectations have changed in their lifetime. We talked about young leaders and how different their eschatology is from 50 years ago.
My hope for the next 3 decades is that sincere people of faith get fatigued on this unfulfillingway to read the Bible and this next generation is released and empowered with an understanding of genre that does not leave them susceptible and vulnerable to panic over sensations like y2k and franchises like Left Behind.
The world is in too great a need for really great people to be distracted by thinking that apocalyptic is A) predictive and B) about the 21st century.
Here we have 2 crippling problems to confront – and the problem is that they compound the effect of each other intensely.
The more minor problem is the one that we have touched on above: a loss of the prophetic or our Christian imagination.
The major, and more hideous problem, is something called “final forms”. We live in an era where systems have become so solidified, concrete, and assumed that are assumed to be ends in themselves.
- Capitalism is the pinnacle economic system.
- Democracy, while flawed, is superior to all others.
- Nationalism will never be topped or undone.
They are final forms that, once invented or introduced, are here to stay.
And there is an ominous implication:
- Christianity is purported to be in its final form.
The faith we have today cannot be reexamined, tinkered with, or questioned. It is written in stone and unchanging.
In fact, it gets worse – true Christianity was found in the early church and the answer to our current problems is to get ‘back’ to that kind of a faith – sort of a ‘make religion great again’ mentality.
Come this Sunday at 9 to hear the rest … Art for the series by Jesse Turri