August 26, 2022
"Scripture is from first to last a vision of a world made otherwise than that based on hierarchy, domination, and the rule of money and violence," writes Timothy Gorringe based on the theology of Ton Veerkamp. This book concludes with a final chapter drawing everything together for what transitions we need in order to create a different/better world.
He asks what kind of culture any community needs in order to be resilient. I found this important, and one of the reasons I have been reading all of these books this sabbatical summer, to be sure that our congregation is aware and prepared and doing what we should for the age we are now in and what is coming.
Gorringe believes too much around the climate is doom and gloom that has the effect of people feeling that they cannot act. Instead he wants to follow the lead of some other scholars who believe that we need a vision of the future that entices people to participate. Also a wise point for any preacher and pastor.
He believes our need for resilience is at root a spiritual problem. Spirituality keeps people focused on hope and the future instead of succumbing to despair. I was reminded of our Lenten worship series that focused on spiritual practices given the reality of climate change.
These dimensions of resilience--solidarity, compassion, an ability to cope with tragedy, a sense of purpose, and an understanding of faith, hope, and agape--seem to me to be the real heart of 'inner transition.'
Church's might have to become arks, sanctuaries for the good life. He returns to his idea of Benedictine communities in the dark ages, that he brought up in the introduction. He concludes:
If I am right then a rigorous return to the traditions, practices, and virtues that Christians have nourished for so many centuries, but which at the same time the church has compromised so abjectly in relation to the present imperium, may be, to put i no more strongly, amongst the most important things that help to make and to keep human beings human in the dark ages already upon us.
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