Anxiety and the Common Good {Brueggemann Quotable}

Agree or Disagree?

It is clear, is it not, that the kingdom of paucity and its propelling ideology of anxiety are alive and well and aggressive among us. In the United States it takes the form of a national security state in which we are to be engaged in perpetual war, in order to impose our will upon others, in order to claim the resources and develop the markets to our advantage. We are not inclined or even able to speak of the national state frontally. Most often we speak of symptoms and consequences–wounded soldiers, sleepless nights, lost jobs, disabled economy–but we do not name and identify the core ideology that produces our social disability. Our immediate experience of the kingdom of scarcity is our entitled consumerism in which there is always a hope of more, in which we imagine that something more will make us more comfortable, safer, and happier. The ideology of consumer militarism is totally pervasive in our culture, fostered by a media that has largely lost its capacity for critical thought, by a judicial system that is now committed to a national security state, by aggressive TV advertising that is simply a liturgical adjunct to consumer ideology, by a star system of performance and sports figures that invites all to a fantasy that is remote from any neighborly facts on the ground. The measure of commitment to that kingdom of scarcity is the force of credit card debt that is designed to produce dependency and eventually poverty. {Walter Brueggemann, Journey to the Common Good}

I’m in the process of reading Journey to the Common Good. It is thought-provoking and soul-stirring. I believe we {disciples of Christ} need to wrestle with Brueggemann’s message. I’ll be sharing some of his thoughts over the next week or so as an invitation for you to join me in considering how our lives can be more intentionally shaped by confidence in the provision of God’s abundance resulting in our participation in that which brings His good to others. I believe this is especially necessary as we approach Christmas with its inevitable frenzy of wishes and wants. Maybe instead we can encourage one another to remember how generous God has already to been to us and creatively consider together how we might pay His generosity forward.

Okay. Back to the quote: agree or disagree?

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