Monday, April 24, 2017

Built Upon Sand

“A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, for such a society is a house built upon sand.” Dorothy L. Sayers

As I ponder this I wonder what the difference is between an object at the waste dump and a newly-purchased object that will eventually be sent to the waste dump? May not newly- purchased objects simply be waste with new paint? Advertising does not sell content, it sells images – as John reminds us in Revelation, we ought to pay attention to the images we worship. When we see advertising all too often we are looking at idols – but do we know it?

Consumption is a tiger that will eat us. We cannot get off. It is devouring our souls. It is devouring the soul of the church. How much is enough? Just a little bit more.

If the Cretans were liars with fat bellies (Titus 1:12), what are we but spin doctors, with gorged egos, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God…with famished souls?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Lifetime of Books – Musings (3)

I’m looking at Green Eggs and Ham, and also at A Fly Went By. These are keepers. I’m not keeping them for kids that might visit us, I’m keeping them for me. Oh I guess if we don’t have kids visit that I might have to borrow or rent a kid now and then so that I can read them aloud, but the truth is that I’ll get more pleasure reading them than any child will get listening to them.

Many folks are familiar with Green Eggs and Ham, especially on Saint Patrick’s Day, or annual days that celebrate reading in school. It could be a manual for sales, marketing, evangelism; it could be an example of the delight we can find when we try new things…even green eggs and ham. The eggs were still eggs, the ham was still ham – I don’t imagine they tasted any different than usual eggs and ham…but then again, maybe they did. Once one of the cola companies came out with a “clear” cola – it flopped…looks matter when it comes to food and drink.

Green Eggs and Ham is an example of persistence and of continually seeking new avenues of communication – what is the best way to deliver the message of green eggs and ham? On a boat? With a goat? In the rain? On a train? In a tree? In a car? In a box? With a fox? In a house? With a mouse? We must not dilute the content of the message, and not confuse the method of delivery with content – and if our content is clear, such as in Green Eggs and Ham, then those to whom we are communicating will hopefully understand both the content and the response that is required of them.  

Well, I am going to close for now and pick up A Fly Went By in a future post. In the meantime I think I’ll drive over to the seminary library and research an ancient Ugaritic text that has much the same message, some of the text is obscure since we only have fragments, but I’m told that there are similar Hittite and Egyptian and Babylonian stories – and that similar stories also exist in the hollows of the Blue Ridge.

Too bad the professing church doesn’t have the passion of Sam-I-am in sharing the Gospel; come to think of it…I’d better look in the mirror.