To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Trouble With the Short Run

“The stark contrast between what I experience among Christians anywhere else in the world—and not just the ‘Third World,’ because Canada and Germany and Britain and Singapore come to mind as quickly as Uganda and India—and American Christians is astonishing. We are preoccupied with fads intellectual, theological, technological, and sartorial. Vanishingly few of us have any serious discipline of silence, solitude, study, and fasting. We have, in the short run, very little to offer our culture, because we live in the short run.
I am not hopeful because I think life is going to get easier in America. I am hopeful because I think it is going to get harder, and in a very good way. And I am hopeful because I think this means my children and grandchildren will live in a deeply and truly better world than I would have thought possible a few years ago.”
Andy Crouch

Check out his webiste...pretty interesting stuff

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not only are we (Christians) living in the short run, we are starting
To believe the foolishness we teach about the here and now.
Due to the Totally Depraved state of natural man,
My hope is in nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I have no hope that the world will get better as we evolve through
one failed form of government after another. Only when the Lord
Of Glory is on the Throne of His father David will we have peace.
Struggle makes us stronger, makes us lean on the Lord more, But if it
Could perfect us, Jesus shed His blood on the cross for nothing!

ed

s g said...

I had to read through this a few times...

so what he's saying is that as life gets "harder" in America for Christians, that perhaps we will be spurred on to live that life of solice, fasting, etc... ? Which is infinitely much better than following theological fads? We will find our peace in Christ instead of our theological systems.

I checked out the site briefly. Will have to spend more time there on this quote to make sure I have what he's saying. I'd like to know what he thinks Christians help will be in the long run.

thanks for sharing.

Rob H said...

sg,
I think it is that we tend to live like "now" is all we have, so we (by "we" I mean American evangelicals in the broad sense) are satisfied with what amuses us now without any sense of a long view. Our families are disintegrating because its members are pursuing their own pleasure for the moment rather than being committed to family legacy and heritage. Our churches are failing because we're caught up in the latest growth fad with little or no sense that we are ascending Mount Zion to worship with all the saints of all the ages in our corporate worship. Our culture (Christian and otherwise) is buckling under the weight of stuff and lust by a citezenry that cares nothing for tomorrow, but only for today's sense of wellbeing.

Crouch is saying (in his book and on his website) that the creation of more culture, better culture, requires more than a 15 minute focus. We must take a very long view.

Doug Wilson illustrated it well when he said something like: We have no reason to believe that in 500 years people will be listening to Millie Vanillie. But we do have every reason to believe that in 500 years people will still be listening to Bach.

Millie Vanillie is an artifact of pop culture. Bach is culture.

Or something like that.

s g said...

Rob -

Now it makes sense... Why didn't he just say so in the first place? :)

More than a 15 minute focus huh?/

Well - off to Flickr...

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