Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Collapse of Our World and Our Creative Response to It

Throughout history, we find four types of social movements: progressive, conservative, restorative, and preservative. Progressives believe the golden age lies in the future; conservatives, in the present; and restoratives, in the past. Preservatives seek to save the best of every age from destruction.

For all of us in Olympia—for all of our societies, all of our cultures, and all of us as individuals—the most significant reality since 1750 has been the growth of the Global Technological System (GTS). It has now reached the point in intensity, extensity, and complexity that all of our societies, cultures, and selves are thoroughly integrated into it with no discernible method of escape.

This has been the dream of the six Olympian gods since they first rushed into creation with Adam and Eve's fall from grace. Since that time, they’ve longed to displace God’s good creation with a counter-creation all their own. They’ve also longed to displace God as god in our hearts. By creating the GTS through us, they succeeded in doing both beyond their wildest dreams.

So what’s the problem? The GTS has no future. It is so vast that no meaningful alternative exists to it. Yet it is so fragile that soon just one small unexpected crisis is going to collapse it. The ship is sinking and there aren’t nearly enough lifeboats.

Our most creative response to this impending collapse of the GTS is a preservative commitment to bring out the best in one another and to preserve the best around us from destruction.

This will need some voluntary personal and communal discipline. As Christians, for example, we might commit ourselves to reading the Bible in the original Hebrew or Greek. With a collapsing GTS, we can’t leave something as important as understanding the Bible to scholars working in a system of higher education that’s about to disappear. We ourselves have to accept responsibility for something that important. It’s actually not that difficult.

We also need to celebrate all that was true, good, and beautiful in Olympian history and learn from all that was false, wicked, and unseemly. We might, for example, read about Mozart and then listen more frequently to his music--or even play it--while we still can. Or we might learn about Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas, and then read their books. Better yet, we Christians might pursue these activities with one another in our churches as communities of freedom.

Copyright © 2013 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.