Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 'I' in 'Everything'

Over Christmas I read Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope by Brian McLaren. It's an ambitious book that attempts to relocate Jesus from the first century to the 21st. Taking in all the big global issues like war, trade, poverty, politics and the environment McLaren tries to join the dots and get to root causes. There's loads of examples in the book to provide ammunition to any wannabee right-on (or should that be left-on?) finger-wagger but I was simply left with the sad and scary reality that I am part of the everything and I must change. Donald Miller describes his own similar moment of revelation in Blue Like Jazz:
Do I want social justice for the oppressed, or do I just want to be known as a socially active person? I spend 95 percent of my time thinking about myself anyway. I don't have to watch the evening news to see that the world is bad, I only have to look at myself. I am not browbeating myself here; I am only saying that true change, true life-giving, God-honoring change would have to start with the individual. I was the very problem I had been protesting. I wanted to make a sign that read "I AM THE PROBLEM"
God help me.

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Matthew Lane said...

"I am part of the everything and I must change." The cry of the Christian heart? It's something I've been conscious of. God is so glorious and his will for us equally good then we can't help but see our own shortcommings. The question is, how do we walk out of "the everything" and into all the amazing works God has prepared for us? In my mind the answer, in part, lies in keeping a focus on people, on reaching out to them and helping them see and receive Jesus.
What do yo think Matt

Anonymous said...

Interesting factoid: Zondervan publish Don Carson, Mark Driscoll and Brian MacLaren, with Carson and MacLaren rubbishing the latter and vice versa. When a senior exec at Zondervan was queried about their publishing strategy, he laughed and said Christians are always falling out with one another, why not make money out of it?

Guess who owns Zondervan? Rupert Murdoch.

Paul said...

I'm reminded of G. K. Chesterton's letter to The Times when it invited responses to the question "What's Wrong with the World?"

Dear Sir

I am.