Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Our Christian Culture
This is my second try at this blog subject. After completing my musings yesterday they mysteriously evaporated (to my chagrin) and I didn't have time to rewrite until now.
I listened to an interview with ethnobotanist and anthropologist Wade Davis on the CBC radio program, The Current. I've long admired Davis, a Canadian, for his explorations of other cultures which we are inclined to dismiss as primitive. Davis has appreciated for decades that these cultures often have a deep wisdom which is connected to the natural world in a supernatural way. This is the description of Davis's work on the CBC website:
"There is no reason whatsoever to use the word primitive to describe any culture."
He says cultures are just different ways of interpreting the world and are not on a continuum from traditional to modern. "The whole question is what kind of world do we want to live in and how do we figure out a way as we transition forward in the march of history we can maintain the glory of diversity which is in a sense the poetry of life itself."
Conversely, our industrial and technological society has distanced itself from the rhythms of our ecosystems, to our peril. How can we describe ourselves as advanced or sophisticated when we are rapidly degrading and destroying the very fabric of the planet which sustains us? We seem oblivious to our impact and continue headlong on pathways to disaster.
Davis was described yesterday as working for years with National Geographic as an "explorer in residence" which seems like the coolest job description every, even if it is a tad oxymoronic. This got me thinking in an entirely different direction.
Don't you think we need many more "explorers in residence" in mainline churches these days? The ways in which we have expressed the gospel haven't been working for a long time and our faith ecosystems are breaking down. We're beginning to appreciate that what we took for granted as Christian may not be grounded in Christ at all.
Rather than abandoning the church, or Christ for that matter, we can venture forth to reconnect with the deep and supernatural wisdom of the Christ Way with a fresh and adventurous perspective for our time. To explore these possibilities may daunt us, but it may also be the great adventure of our spiritual lifetimes
Would you agree? How far should we explore? Is there hope for our Christian tribe?