About 4 months ago I read the New Conspirators, by Tom Sine and was challenged particularly in how I should respond to culture as a Christian. Since then it's been fun to read my sister's excellent impressions on the book. Recently another good friend has started reading it which has caused me to read it again....but this time take a bit more time on it.
This book in combination with Andy Crouch's new book Culture Makers, has gotten me thinking a lot about the various subtle ways I have chosen culture as a religion over God and what is my role in changing it. I feel that given today's strange economic circumstances both books are very relevant to where I and many around me are at. Specifically given that one of the main religions in American culture, "money", is now failing...it's a good reality check to think about which religion am I really buying into.
It's been interesting to listen to various responses to the economic turmoil...most of which are either of despair , avoidance or forced/shallow hope. Tom Sine writes that "The biggest lie of our modern global empire is that no God is present in the world. Of course the empire allows us to worship a God, if we choose, as long as we recognize that the God who shows up during worship and at our bible studies has little power to actually change the world. The message is clear: The world is governed by the forces of the global free market, political and economic power, and random mutations of nature-period.
In spite of this message, I am finding growing numbers of Christians who believe the God of the mustard seed empire is actively at work in our world. Our wild outrageous hope is that through the death and resurrection of Christ, our God will write the final chapter and make all things new, not just personally and spiritually but also culturally, economically and politically; he will transform every dimension of our global society."
One voice I have felt strangely absent in all this economic turmoil are Christians who still have an "outrageous hope" that God is still at work. Not a hope that God will make our economics secure again necessarily, but a hope that we are secure in God despite whatever happens in this world. It's my prayer that I can continue to believe in that hope.