Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Evangelical Manifesto 2

I loved what Mike Rucker had to say about the Evangelical Manifesto:

more than anything, i found myself motivated and energized by the very positive nature of the piece - that it isn’t yet another “here’s everything we’re against” rant but an effort to make the gospel again a message of good news. imagine that - the gospel being good news. American Christianity has lost this defining characteristic that once served it well.

there are a few things i question, but nothing is going to please everyone, i suppose. for instance, i’m not sure i agree with this statement: We Evangelicals should be defined theologically, and not politically, socially, or culturally. Jesus’ message uses “action” verbs: teach them to DO as I have commanded you, LOVE God and LOVE your neighbor, by this will all men know … if you LOVE one another. any theology that defines us must have feet.

i did, however, like these words:
We are also troubled by the fact that the advance of globalization and the emergence of a global public square finds no matching vision of how we are to live freely, justly, and peacefully with our deepest differences on the global stage.

somehow we've got to figure out how we we're going to happily share the same bathroom over the next few decades in our ever-shrinking world.

I too liked the positive nature of the Manifesto. If emergent/emerging has done anything, it's brought a new tone of caring and civility to the Christian dialogue. I'm grateful for this and find it liberating. Them and us, hate and vitriol, can become prisons we get trapped in.

On the lack of a counter-ideology to globalization, I'm glad Mike lifted that passage from the Manifesto. I couldn't agree more that we need an alternative vision of how to live freely, justly and peacefully on a global stage. The "market vision" is at best incomplete. What about the abundant life we're promised: the joy, the peace, the love, the patience, the kindness of all the world's people? How do we address this so that the wealth globalization brings is not a source of misery but a tool to build a spirit-infused world?

Maseo Abe, a Buddhist and interfaith scholar, addresses this when he calls for people of different faiths to join together (not become the same, but to work together!), rather than fight, so we can together stand for an alternative set of values than that of the marketplace.

And yes, how are we going to share the same bathroom? Ideas?

No comments: