Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Semi-Worms (Exiles 5)

I didn't really anticipate writing a Series of Worms out of my reading of Frost's Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture. This certainly doesn't qualify as a proper book review, which may be why nobody ever asks me to review books! It was more of a series of ponderings provoked by Frost's tome.

I'd probably advocate this book as being near the top of any list of books to read about the emerging/missional church. I found this book, at times, to provoke the following reactions:
  • deep thought
  • hearty agreement
  • "you're reading my mail" resonance
  • I'll have to think more about that, and
  • Frosty, I'm about to drag you through shards of broken glass before dumping your bruised and bleeding carcass into a swimming pool filled with iodine...
I think any book that can evoke such a range of reactions would qualify as a good read. I'll get to the reason behind my last reaction in a later post, but this one will just comment briefly on Frost's chapters on justice, the poor, and the persecuted, and also on ecology and environmentalism as part of our stewardship of Creation. Frost cranks out such a long list of human rights abuses around the world, horrendous recountings of torture and murder of Christians, observations and predictions of the ecological rape of Planet Earth... well, at the end of these two profoundly disturbing chapters, I felt overwhelmed and useless.

I had not a clue as to how I could possibly even begin to delve into these issues. The implications of each of these areas was mind-numbing and soul-sucking in its enormity. I mean, I do have a link to Operation World at the top of this blog, as well as a link to Voice of the Martyrs in the sidebar, but that suddenly seemed woefully inadequate -- almost juvenile in its naive assumption that somehow having two simple little HTML links on a blog could actually make a difference. I mean, I guess I could add more links to justice-oriented sites, like One: the Campaign to Make Poverty History, but would providing more links help, or just serve to blind and deafen people through a heavy-handed brow-beating?

What I finally came around to was simply this:

Pick one.

Poverty. The persecuted church. Justice for the unborn (remember abortion? is it an issue of justice, or is it too embarrassingly "Christian Right" for uber-cool emerging missional types?). Ecological responsibility (which may or may not include some kind of political activism).

Just pick one. Do something. Anything. Don't get overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.

Pick one.