I started writing a book about ten years ago, the working title I gave the book:Â “The Death of Truth and the Commodification of Christ”. I have never sought to publish the book because the tone of the book is angry and back in the early days of emergent all of us were labeled as “angry young preachers” and I didn’t want to contribute to that idea. I truly wanted to foment a reformation and theological conversation and anger does not promote conversations.
My basic idea in theÂ writing was this: Modern philosophical concepts of “truth” have killed it, turning “truth” into this static thing that is “out there” instead of a dynamic thing that is shaped by participation. ThisÂ concept of truth de-motivates us by suggesting thatÂ “truth” can not change – it can only be discovered.Â As the church bought into the modern concept it changed the role of the church from being a participatory truth changer in culture to being a truth dispenser focused on the individual. The shift to the individual provides the framework that we are now trapped in – the framework that suggests that the individual possess “truth” (as long as they are rational and informed) and does not need anyone else(except to inform). Everything that exists outside the individual is just a commodity for the individual to be consumed and only valuedÂ by the “felt needs” of the individual. My conclusion – at this point in church history – we have actually elevated the individual to a “god-like” position and subsequently positioned Christ as the ultimate consumer commodity for the individual. etc etc etc
When I would discuss these ideas I could see that it was too foreign to suggest that our assumptions about individualism, felt needs and truth could be wrong, But that was 10-12 years ago. I was shocked when I saw the title of this new book – The Divine Commodity. I have not read the book, but I like what I am reading in the promotional material, and commentsÂ and when I listen to the author talk. I see that he is friends with an old buddy Dan Kimball – so I have ordered the book and am anxious to read it.
Forgive me for my self-indulgent, poorly informed, initialÂ excitement. It it just hard to constrain when you hear others say things that you have been saying for a while – because it makes you feel “that you are not crazy” and more than once I have felt that way on this journey. Now I hope the book is good!