Over the past couple of months this blog has been primarily focused on two reoccurring themes: how we read the Bible and making sense of the miraculous. I didn’t plan it that way, per se, but it just kept coming up – and since I love those two topics, I went with it.

Now I want to change gears and do something a little more intentional. First, let me set it up.

There are several things happening in our culture that are coming together in an alarming way. The arenas of overlap include:

  • Science
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Sexuality

The recent political backlash against women’s health, insurance coverage, and reproductive rights is fueled by a religious backlash. This is why it is no coincidence that controversy has flared up in politics around Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum – and in religion with Marc Driscoll and John Piper.  Both sets of controversy are coming from the same place … they just play out in different arenas.

This past week I read two news stories that illustrate the same:

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) argued that his belief that global warming is a hoax is biblically inspired. You can read the article here.

Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous. – Sen. James Inhofe

The second story had to do with a school assembly in Iowa that turned ugly. It was supposed to be an anti-bullying presentation by a rock band that became anti-gay and anti-abortion.  You can read the story here.

I saw the headline and thought to myself “I will guarantee you that the band was ‘christian’.”  Turns out I was right!  But let me ask you: how did I know?   Because in the current arena there are 2 telltale signs:

  1. Christians have become 2 issue voters. Those two issues are homosexuality and abortion. Over the last 30 years of the Religious Right the American Church has been reduced to a caricature.
  2. The only way that a group who was brought in to talk about anti-bullying would end up ranting against gays and abortion was if they believed that they were working for a BIGGER truth and could therefor dishonor the initial intent of their invitation. What other group  would take the anti-bully opportunity and change direction like that?

We are in an election year so this in only going to get more pronounced.

There are two other factors in my change of season
As you may know, I consider myself a Contextual Theologian (vs. philosophical, systematic, historical, etc). Well, the reality that has been dawning on me is that our context is one dominated by capitalism, global consumerism, post-Cold War imperialism and technology. If I ignore those realities as a theologian then I am doing a dis-service to the Church and to my generation.

It is irresponsible to do theology in the 21st century and not address economics, consumerism (our true global religion), politics, and ecology. 

For this project I have chosen a conversation partner. I work best in dialogue and Chris Hedges is someone I find myself wrestling with throughout the day. The book that I will initially interact with is the national bestseller  “The Death of the Liberal Class” because it covers so many topics that I would love address.

My question will be simply this: IF Chris Hedges is right about the world – how then should we do theology?

I hope that you will join me on this journey and jump into the conversation! I am neither Conservative or Liberal and have been deeply impacted by the book by Deborah Tannen “The Argument Culture: stopping America’s war of words” so I hope that you will feel safe to comment on what will be put forward even though the subject matter can be volatile.