Like Amos in the Old Testament, I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. On the other hand, like the sons of Issachar, I hope I understand the times. In that role, then, I make the following prognostications.
Politically and socially, we need a revolution. Theologically and spiritually, we need a reformation. Experientially, we need a revival. All of these are interrelated, and all three are already in progress, if only in the beginning stages. We may only recognize them after the fact, since they will not strongly resemble any previous manifestation. Continue reading
It happens after every major election, particularly when conservatives lose. Declarations of doom and despair accompany internecine recriminations and predictions that, as bad as things are now, they will, in all likelihood, get a whole lot worse.
A few days after the presidential election in 2012, I opened the local newspaper to the editorial section where I read this headline spread across the entire op-ed page in large type: “Obama’s Leading This Country Down the Road to Ruin.” That was the title for a column written by a prominent conservative pundit who is also a well-known evangelical Christian. In the second paragraph of his column that day he wrote, President Barack Obama’s reelection mirrors the self-indulgent, greedy and envious nation we are rapidly becoming.
I know a lot of my conservative friends still embrace the sentiment conveyed by that headline despite concrete evidence to the contrary. And a red-meat sentence like that one surely rallies the troops. There’s just one problem. It was not true then, and it is not true now. Continue reading
Everybody knows the children’s story about Chicken Little who gets hit on the head by a falling acorn and immediately assumes the worst, i.e. that the sky is actually made of some sort of solid matter and is beginning to rain down upon the inhabitants of Earth. Chicken Little undertakes to spread the news of impending doom to all his (her?) friends, most of whom are barnyard fowl with goofy, rhyming names.
The origin of the story is unknown but its roots are apparently ancient. Some say a version of the story may have been circulating in Jesus’s day. The ending of the story, and thus the moral it attempts to convey, differs depending on the version being told and the storyteller’s purpose, but one element remains the same in all versions. Chicken Little has misinterpreted the data. The end is not near. Doom is not imminent. The sky is emphatically NOT falling. Continue reading