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« Our Postmodern Faith Needs Fire | Main | L'Abri »

January 08, 2005


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much of science fiction supports this quote.

so does much of daniel and revelation, if read a certain way. and perhaps parts of genesis. when they built a big tower, God scattered them. when they settled in cities, God called them out to wander in the wilderness.

"much of science fiction supports this quote.
so does much of daniel and revelation"

Hmmm. So Tammy, are you suggesting that Daniel and Revelations are like.... science fiction? ;)

When came across this quote, I too was thinking about the tower in Babel and the phenomenon of "cities" and what they mean, theologically (see Jacques Ellul, The Meaning of the City).

It's common for postmodern idealogues to support the notion of culture-as-sacred. Among other things, Emerson's quote suggests an alternative understanding of this.

Reminds me of the Second Renaissance episode in The Animatrix. The technology we create will lead to our downfall.

No. The problem is neither cities nor civilization. The creation begins in a garden, that is true. But the ultimate is not the beginning, but the consummation. And that is the garden city of Revelation. The idealized romantic notion of "wilderness" does not fit in with the biblical story line. Wilderness is transitional, a time of testing and preparation for the moment when God brings His people into a land of "cities they did not build and wells they did not dig."

The issue is man's rebellion. He hungers for "eschatology" - but he wants to receive it independently, rather than by faith.

"So Tammy, are you suggesting that Daniel and Revelations are like.... science fiction? ;)"

in some ways yes. :D

science fiction is sometimes built on religious ideals and frameworks. madeleine l'engle did this with her time series.

anyway -- civilization is built upon a fallen world. it can't help but fall at various times, as much as we try to build it right. in spite of this, we're still called to repair the wound in creation whenever we can.

Civilization was doomed to failures from the get-go. Whether or not it will sustain itself is unsure, but anyone with any sense knows that it can't carry on like it is. Within our world civilization is a root mindset composed of root beliefs. Among those beliefs is the very notion that the earth was created for us and that we were created to conquer and rule it, another notion is that all things (initially food) can be put under lock and key and can only be gotten by working and paying dues for these things. These have proven to be very dangerous notions, coupled with totalitarian agriculture, population explosion, modern warfare, and the creation of nation-states. What's tragic about our civilization isn't that it is so long and torturous, but that it is very brief (10,000 years) within the timescale of human history, and already we have done immeasurable harm to each other and the living environment we rely upon for our very survival.

We are no better than people who live amongst the wilderness. In fact, I'd say tribal peoples are actually closer to god and his creations (if god is a conscious being) than any of us in our man-made bubbles, cradles of material luxury and ignorance.

Please, read the book Ishmael by author Daniel Quinn to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. It really is a beautiful book.

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