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Strange Days II

My post about the jarring experience of attending a Regent chapel which highlighted the monstrous evils that plague our world followed by a celebration of the blessing of a new library generated a surprising amount of interest. As the discussion seems to have drawn to a close, and I’m not sure people will be checking back, I thought I would highlight the most recent comment. Personally, I was greatly encouraged to hear from this man, and am thankful not only for his generous contribution toward the building of the library that I now enjoy, but that he took the time to describe what goes on behind the blessings that people like me wonder endlessly about. It was instructive and inspiring to see that these incongruous experiences need not be paralyzing—there are people out there whose “lives have theological outcomes” in important and commendable ways.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dave Chow #

    Ryan,

    We do have a book in our church library by John R. Schneider, called The Good of Affluence.

    It’s a provocative view considering what we have learned from people such as Ron Sider and friends.

    This book has something to say about living with wealth in a world that is poverty stricken. I wonder if it may give voice to those who do help the church through their gift of giving. Just another voice to perhaps rock the boat, but really intended to further a discussion and help with understanding.

    A web-site that may help is:

    http://www.calvin.edu/news/releases/2002_03/affluence.htm

    I haven’t read him yet, but I came across this in my web-travels.

    Interesting that the book is actually in our holdings (although it is currently checked out).

    I do admit, having such jarring experiences juxtaposed tend to create a sort of cognitive dissonance within us, but I think that there are many things in our world that do so. A good question for one who organized the event would be, “What was the purpose in that sequencingn of events?” Was it intentional? If so, was there any thought to debriefing, discussing the reactions? What is the theological significance? And maybe more imporantanly, as Francis Schaeffer would ask, “How Should We Then Live?”

    February 6, 2007
  2. Thanks for the link Dave, although I have to say I’m shocked – a Mennonite pastor referencing a Calvin College Professor?! Just kidding. I don’t doubt that I often have the kind of knee-jerk response to affluence that he describes, although I remain cautious when I see sub-titles like “Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth.” Maybe it’s just because I see (as we all have) horrendous abuses of the kind of teaching that this book seems to be pointing toward… (i.e., ‘health-wealth gospel’)

    February 6, 2007

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