Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Simply Christian

As we all (hopefully) are pondering BIG things ... deciding who to vote for in the primary (PLEASE VOTE), and why ... I was pondering over a book our church is reading all together through small groups called Simply Christian by N.T. Wright. I read non-fiction books with a pencil marking everything that moves me or that I want to remember. (It requires a lot of restraint while reading a library book!) There have been numerous places in this book so far that I've litered with marks, circles, even exclaimation points. Here is an excerpt from a section where N.T. Wright is speaking about Justice . . .
" . . . And now we have the new global evils: rampant, uncaring, and irresponsible materialism and capitalism on the one hand; raging unthinking religious fundamentalism on the other. As one famous book puts it, we have "Jihad versus McWorld." (Whether there is such a thing as caring capitalism, or for that matter thoughtful fundamentalism, isn't the point at the moment.) . . . It doesn't take a Ph.D. in macroeconomics to know that if the rich are getting richer by the minute, and the poor poorer, there is something badly wrong.
Meanwhile, we all want a happy and secure home life. Dr. Johnson, the eighteenth-century conversationalist, once remarked that the aim and goal of all human endeavor is "to be happy at home." But in the Western world, and many other parts as well, homes and familiies are tearing themselves apart. The gentle art of being gentle -- of kindness and forgiveness, sensitivity and thoughtfulness and generosity and humility and good old-fashioned-love -- have one out of fashion. Ironically, everyone is demanding their "right," and this demand is so shrill that it destroys one of the most basic "rights," if we can put it like that; the "right," or at least the longing and hope, to have a peaceful, stable, secure, and caring place to live, to be, to learn, and to flourish.
Once again people ask the question: Why is it like this? Does it have to be like this? Can things be put to rights, and if so how? Can the world be rescued? Can we be rescued?"
For me, this was food for thought.

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