I’m stacking madly these days (as in “Book Stacks”). I bought a copy of Bob Woodward’s State of Denial Friday night as we headed for Cincinnati. I am also a little over a third of the way through Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s Hubris, which is pretty much on the same theme. (I see also that Frank Rich has a new book…..The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina (Amazon.com page)
I’m also still very much into David Fitch’s The Great Giveaway (page 142 of 230) , which is raising quite a few inner amens as I read. It very much aligns with the idea that the Church is a very different organism from that which pervades the culture in the form of Big Business models, ParaChurch Organizations as “stand ins” for our contact with the poor, Psychotherapy as “helping us to feel good about ourselves as isolated individuals”, and Consumer Capitalism, which is very much an enemy of Christian community in its insatiable pounding at our psyches until we have bought into the notions of people and faith as commodities and as consumers. I get the sense that David Fitch would be very much in support of church structures such as those embodied in the Church of the Saviour communities, where there is a lot of language about “being with one another to help each other overcome our addictions to culture”. The individualist emphasis of our culture, for all its talk of “community”, works against the kind of relationships God’s people are called to enter into with one another. Without the “RE-formation” that happens when we meet to discern God’s word for us, we are sitting ducks for what the culture is selling. And Fitch says that the Evangelical Church (and would say the same for the Mainliners, too, but here he is focusing on his own tradition) is giving away the functions of the church to the “methodologies” and paradigms of our culture, and thus abandoning the call to be the church.