Here's an interesting question: Is this world fundamentally evil, or is it fundamentally good?
Yesterday evening, well overdue for a couple of hours spent curled up on the sofa while watching television and eating popcorn, Rebekah and I did a lot of channel surfing and took in a whole lot of ten-minute segments from the entire spectrum of channel selections.
It there was an umbrella theme for Thursday night's programing then it was this. Abuse, death, mayhem, torture, deception, greed, murder, assault.... Several of the shows were documentary productions featuring interviews and "dramatic representations" of actual events. The cumulative emphasis was sickening.
We also stumbled on a slew of commercials, promoting the latest batch of horror and slasher movies being released in time for Halloween. It's disturbing, to say the least, to think that anyone could find entertainment value in realistic renderings of mutilation, torture, brutality, excruciating agony and fear.
One segment on "Aryan Brotherhood" violence and killings inside the prison system turned my blood cold. Then, all over the news this morning, the story of a kidnapped 11 year old enduring 18 years of brutal treatment at the hands of her captors - right here in suburban USA.
So back to the question. Is this world fundamentally evil, or is it fundamentally good? How we answer that question has a lot to do with how we live our lives of faith if we are people who profess to believe.
I reject the idea from the song that says: "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through." This world is my home; it's a beautiful place. God created it to be our home, and my God is in the redemption business!
Is our theology an escape system (looking for rapture, or apocalypse, some kind of termination of history in order to eventually overcome...) or is our theological posture primarily redemptive (how can we be the presence of Christ in this world and work toward restoration...)?
In my new book, "The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian" I talk a lot about what I call "moving forward, back to the Garden." You see, God created this world, and if you read the beginning of the story in Genesis it's evident that God created something good. "God saw that it was good."
Our story begins in a world created by God and designed to be a place where the creation could enjoy relationship with the Creator. If this pilgrim journey is leading anywhere, then it is a journey forward, back to the garden.
I believe this world is fundamentally good. I don't want to hide; I don't want to escape; I don't want to have this posture that it's all going to hell and that destruction is God's ultimate solution. I want to be an agent of positive change.
I want to be, as one chapter heading suggests, "Subversive for Jesus." I believe this is a world worth saving.
Something to think about - DEREK