Friday, May 5, 2017

The American Church Is Not Threatened

Why We Need Parks
There was a time when all we had was access to nature—we were so inextricably in it and of it. Our ancestors spent their first 2.5 million years operating as nomadic groups that gathered plants where they grew and hunted animals where they grazed. Relatively recently, around 10,000 years ago, something phenomenal shifted.
Author Michael Harris goes on to note how our urbanized existence has robbed us of something crucial to our well-being, and how even a short walk in the park can restore that something. I note this as I sit in my little travel trailer on a writing retreat at a mostly deserted campground in northern Wisconsin, a few yards from the La Crosse River. It nearly goes without saying that I'm inclined to agree with Harris on this point.

Our Lives in Ten Years
If the previous link harkens back to better times, "Ten Year Futures" looks forward to how emerging technologies will change how we live and what we buy. Blogger Benedict Evans (who works at a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley that invests in technology companies—so he just might know what he's talking about), begins,
On one hand, we have a set of profound changes coming as a result of new primary technology. Electric and autonomous cars will change cities, virtual and mixed reality will change the entire computing experience, and machine learning is changing the kind of questions that computers can answer. But each of these is also just beginning, especially relative to their potential—they are at the bottom of the S-Curve where smartphones are now getting towards the top. On the other hand, I think we can see a set of changes that come not so much from any new technology as from shifts in consumer behavior and operating economics. These changes are potentially just as big, and might be starting sooner.
Everybody Needs a Boss
Tish Harrison Warren addresses an issue that has arisen in light of mega-popular women bloggers, what she calls "the crisis of authority." Although controversy in the world of women bloggers has raised the issue, it is not new in evangelical circles, where charismatic speakers and writers are apt to forego serious accountability to a church or a governing board. That is a formula for trouble, of course, but it's a serious temptation in our entrepreneurial movement. Thus the need for periodic articles like Warren's.
The American Church Is Not Threatened
At least compared to what the church faces elsewhere. I usually like to end this report with something lighter, but I can't help pointing us to the challenges our Iraqi brothers and sisters face, as this series of photos poignantly notes.
When we say "Jesus Christ" we have no option but to look at this movement from below to above as it takes place in Him, at His exaltation—the exaltation of man as it has taken place and still takes place in Him. When we see Him we see the Father (John 14:9), but we also see the child, ourselves, man—in the full sense of the word, the true man, the man who exists in this history.
Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics IV.2 page 29.
Grace and peace,
 
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

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