Sunday, July 29, 2007

Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire

http://www.amazon.com/Colossians-Remixed-Subverting-Brian-Walsh/dp/0830827382

I highly recommend this book by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat.

This book is a great contextually driven understanding of the subversive nature of Christian thought for our contemporary society. The work the authors have done in setting the context of not only the Colossian society, but also the cultural context we live in really sets the stage for a powerful new ethic.

The most powerful point of influence for me comes from the ideas revolving around imagination. When we realize that the empire we are facing today is not nations, but the global economy and global consumerism, we can then begin to understand the Christian response to this empire. This response begins with our imagination. The empire of global consumerism seeks to control its subjects by snuffing out the alternative imaginations, by either overwhelming our imaginations with its own propaganda, or subverting our imaginations by directing them into new forms of the same consumerist ethic. When we can no longer imagine the kingdom of God come, then we are forced to accept the kingdoms that we are given. What is necessary is a new imagination, to once again become the creative people created in the image of a creative God, and dream of a new ethic, a new politic, a new practice.

I again hope you will read this book, and will join me in a commitiment to practice creativity, and exercise the imagination.

rev

14 comments:

Jarrod Saul McKenna said...

It's awasome isn't it John.
Here is an article you might be interested in by the guys who wrote it:

http://paceebene.org/pace/blog/jarrod-mckenna/good-news-for-all-creation

love to the fam and ya gang from us Peace Tree crew.

Other said...

"It wasn't until the end of my junior year that I began to question it. My first spark of doubt occurred when I was with our group of student leaders of our IVCF at a retreat we took at the end of the school year to plan for the next year and do all the normal christian retreat stuff. We had all been praying for guidance, and I was sure that God was leading us to do X. When I presented my idea, someone else said she was just as sure that God was leading us to do Y. Then the group discussed and prayed, and we came to an agreement that we should do Z, and that Z was what God wanted us to do. So we were all happy and praised God and went merrily on our way to the beach. Now, I was already quite aware that many people think God says many conflicting things, but I had always still assumed that God was saying something to someone, and that there was a way to find out "God's will". But for some reason it hit me then that this same situation, minus the praying and God talk, occurred at the campus radio station, with which I was also involved. This was not at all a religious group. But we had a parallel experience of having one person say we should do X next year, another said we should do Y, and then we discussed and deliberated, and didn't pray, and came up with the same type of result: we all agreed that it would be wonderful to do Z, and we all happily went our merry ways. I began to wonder whether God was necessarily saying anything. It was very obvious that many people had to be mistaken about what "God's will" is since there were so many incompatible views. And for some reason, at this time I was able to allow myself to admit that it was possible for _everyone_ to be mistaken about what God says or wants. I did finally realize that I did not know of any way to be sure what God wanted, or whether God wanted anything. And I began to allow myself the possibility of wondering what proof I really had that there was a God at all."

From htp://www.infidels.org/electronic/email/ex-tian/Kendall_Hobbs.html

Be challenged by other real life experiences by former christians at http://www.infidels.org/electronic/email/ex-tian/stories.html

The Rev said...

well I am sure that there are plenty of ex athiests, or other world view sites as well.

The story shared basically says that because something happened at a Christian camp and the same thing happened in a non Christian camp that God doesn't exist. Which is kinda silly. If you flipped it around you could say, well I was at the radio and we came to the same opinion about something, and then I saw church people do the same thing and I realized that it must have been God that helped us at the radio station too.

In the end we must in some way deal with the issue of faith. I believe that God has spoken to me, that God has inspired the scriptures, and that God indwells the church. I believe it to be true. And taht belief has cause me to grow in my relationship to others, my relationship with the earth, and my spiritual being.

I am not discounting this persons journey, but honestly saying that I have found the complete opposite to be true in my life.

rev

Other said...
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Other said...
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The Rev said...

actually I am very wanted by a number of people, just not you. I spent my whole life living as Paul talks about, and now at the invitation of others I have done something different, and the people that I am ministering to support me and are happy to do so. So why is that a problem for you? Are you jealous? Maybe you should worry about your own broken personality and your own bitterness, rather than trying to correct others.

rev

The Rev said...

Oh, and one other thing, the church is people, not a meeting. And God does indwell his people. So David, with a world full of starvation, hunger, violence, and prejudice, why don't you pick another target that is not trying to actually make a difference in this world.

I am glad you have come back, but please stop your attacking or I will simple delete your posts.

rev

Anonymous said...
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The Rev said...

Perhaps you should go into exile again, you offer nothing but negativity and insult. If you choose to live in a world that renders the individual useless that is fine, but I don't live in your world. The people I love, and that love me would say that our efforts are appreciated, needed and important. Therefore they are only puny to someone who selfishly is only concerned about what concerns them.

Now I said I was sorry that I missed our lunch meeting, I was overwhelmed, and forgot. I have since learned to set an alarm on my phone for every appointment so that it wouldn't happen again. Sometimes my puny efforts to comfort a family who's wife is dying cause me to forget other important matters.

rev

Other said...
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Other said...
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Other said...
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The Rev said...

david,

please don't come back until you are ready to deal with your own issues of hatred and bitterness, and start practicing kindness towards others.

rev

Sovann Pen said...

I was just talking to Julie last night about how overwhelmed and busy we are. It is amazing to me - we are so wealthy our stress comes not from worrying about surviving and feeding ourselves but from having too many good things to choose from - how to prioritize our time.

We have more than enough and yet we worry about the next thing. And yet money will always be an issue because God is asking us to trust Him and it is impossible to please Him without faith.