A La Carte is being launched on Sunday! I’ll be making spontaneous entries, not daily. Not a set day of the week. Like my watercolors, a bit loose and free flowing.
Current thread running through my mind is the interface of Pastor Horne’s sermon this morning [Wk. two of new series—Objections to Christianity: Injustice and Oppression] and my book group’s selection for this month [Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe].
Horne’s “haupt punkt” was that the root of injustice isn’t Christianity. It is the human heart. In fact, every particular religious group is guilty of injustice [ref. Tim Keller, The Reason for God, p. 56]. He pointed out that the God-Man, Jesus Christ, is at the heart of Christianity, proclaiming Good News to the poor and offering redemption for every heart of stone. Universally we are destitute, hopeless.
Living here in East Cobb I am surrounded by the illusion of prosperity, propriety and popularity. At first, as I was reading Wolfe’s depiction of people struggling with loneliness and isolation, people who are violent and vulgar, I found myself feeling a bit smug, repulsed by his characters. Them. They. Not I. Me. Us. We’re not like that.
Then, discussing it over dinner w/Dan last night, I realized that Wolfe is actually profiling me and my peers in 2008. If we’re honest, under our veneer, we’re as crass as the people Wolfe evokes so keenly from personal experience with people, and observations of people, in his Asheville, NC “world” in 1928. After our redemption “in Christ” our transformation evokes a sweet fragrance, a sharp contrast to the stench and filth of our unredeemed state.
And I’m left wondering, with our web of ties in contemporary culture (blogs, email, cell phones, FaceBook, etc.), are we not just as familiar with loneliness and isolation as the characters in a piece of fiction written 80 years ago. . . ?
To be continued. These are my thoughts tonight. I’m still processing. And I still need to finish reading the book since our group is headed to Asheville for a two day retreat. Our discussions at B&N usually last two hours. No telling how long this one will be!