Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Future Worth Creating

(The Title's Source)

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.
Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.
All progress therefore depends on unreasonable people.

The Bible is a very reasonable book, but interspersed in it you can find a few unreasonable people.

Abraham left his home in Mesopotamia, made a long trip up the Euphrates, then another long trip south to Canaan where he heard the Lord say to him:

"And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;" (Genesis 26:4)

Abraham had lots of other weird experiences, fought in several wars, bargained with God over the fate of Sodom; in Egypt he told Pharaoh that his wife was his sister, etc. It's all recorded in Genesis 11:27ff.

Joseph, the spoiled younger son of his father, Jacob (Israel), was cast into a pit by his envious brothers, then sold into slavery in Egypt. But he had a positive outlook which carried him a long way-- in fact to be pharoah's top man. Then he managed to rescue his brothers and the whole tribe from starvation (Genesis 37:2ff).

Ruth, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others unreasonably determined the structure of Judaism and in due course Christianity.

Jesus, the most unreasonable man, showed us all a better Way.

Back to Abraham's blessing: we went into a Burger King in Charlotte once. The cashier was apparently a Jew. The man in front of me, wanting to express solidarity told him that God would curse everyone who cursed the Jews.

That bothered me; I told the Jew that he and his would be a blessing to all nations.

We got our food and went to sit down, but I was still bothered; I saw the man sitting at another table and went over and told him the same thing. An 'evangelical' Christian, he was amazed and impressed, asked me lots of questions.

I tell this story because it points out the two main ways we may read the Bible. We may read the curses or the blessings, whichever you prefer.


Most of us in the blogging world greatly deplore the wars that we've been led into; I certainly do. But like everything there's an 'on the other hand'.

In Blueprint for Action Barnett sets forth a program by which the core, the globalized world (mainly , but not exclusively us) brings the blessings of connectedness to the Middle East, darkest Africa, and all the rest of the world still unconnected. He said that 98% of the terrorism has emanated from the (unconnected, unglobalized) gap, and when these dark countries get some connection with the rest of the world, the trouble will stop. Let's hope so.

A hopeless dream? Maybe. But in the midst of the gloom and doom of the present day, like Abraham, Isaiah, and the rest of them he has come up with a creative possibility. An unreasonable man!


I_Wonder said...

I definitely prefer to focus on the blessings.

You've started some rumblings in my mind that won't gel into a solid thought but I know they are good rumblings. Thanks for being the catalyst.

david said...

I love the quotation thee opened with. GB Shaw I think When travelling on committee business I cited that quotation in a conversation, but slowly: first line, general agreement, second line, more agreement, third line, stunned horror!

Larry said...

My mind is rumbling about it, too. I've just borrowed four books on globalization from the library.

At a recent Friends gathering some violent objection (if Friends can be violent) to globalization was made, which made me a contrarian again.

Since then I have a hunger to get an informed opinion about it. I know the pros and cons are pretty heated and radical, but I also know that the objective truth most lie there somewhere.

Let's try to ferret it out.

I_Wonder said...

Larry, I don't know if you're familar with Jeff Vail. You might find his thoughts interesting.

I haven't been able to find Barnett's book in the local libary or bookstore. I'm going to check another bookstore today before purchasing from Amazon.