Archives For August 17, 2013

Remnants of Jericho

August 17, 2013 — 12 Comments

How’s this for a quote from a very cool-headed feminist theologian and political theorist?: …

‘the 20th century is piled high with bodies: victims of the deadly politics of fascism (extreme) right, the (extreme) left (Stalinism and other so-called Marxist regimes that create burying grounds and call them people’s republics), and the less immediately fatal but ultimately coarsening and life-denying politics of (amoralist) liberal complacency and benign neglect’
(Jean Bethke Elshtain, 1981:299 emphasis mine)

The song below made part of the contemporary music compilation for the Jericho TV series. The series aired from 2006 to 2008, and addresses what could happen in the aftermath of a nuclear attack on certain cities in the United States. This ties in with Elshtain’s observations in four ways.

1. The 20th Century showed the world that we in the West (at least) take too much of our rich, mostly Christian heritage for granted. This occurs up to the point of, but not exclusively in, the showing of irrational contempt for such a community and its heritage.

2. Theology can be manipulated and made to subject itself to ideology. When this happens theology as an independent science is compromised and disempowered, no longer resembling theology. Theology in its truest form is and can only ever be a true and deliberate critique of ideological power. This manifests itself not  in acting as an opposite-absolute power, but rather a hope filled, Christocentric alternative, grounded in the faith response of gratitude and prayer (Karl Barth).

3. Complacency, selfish ambition and appeasement lead to neglect. The consequences of this are political ignorance, slaughter, practical atheism, nominalism and totalitarianism. All of which are elements of injustice and abuse.

4. Any deep sigh or heart-broken utterance pointed towards the Father is an act of faith.

…The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God…Rm.8:26-27, ESV

‘And you asked me what I want this year.
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days.
‘Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things.
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days.
So take these words and sing out loud,
’cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again’
                         – Goo Goo Dolls (‘Better Days’, 2005)