Microwaved Metaphysics

It’s nothing new, really.  People are busy, and different Christian expressions attempt to meet people where they are at in their busy life. This is the article in a nutshell.  

Yes, people are busy.  Ironic, since technology was supposed to free us up for more leisure time.  Instead, not only do both spouses typically work – as opposed to just one spouse in 1960 –  they also work on average more hours a week – closing in on 60, from a 1960 average of just over 40.  
What’s wrong with this picture?  Lots.
I’m glad that people are reaching out to others in ways that are accessible.  Bite-sized Scripture or devotionals might be an improvement for a vast majority of people, and I won’t poo-poo this effort as a means for exposing people to ideas that might lead them to re-examine their priorities in life.  But I suspect that most of these devotionals and Scriptural morsels won’t be doing that.  Rather, they’ll be attempting to make people more happy and satisfied in the midst of the chaos that is consuming them.  Rather than challenging a culture that insists that we sacrifice our time on whatever altar is most expedient, I’m sure the goal all too often is just to boost people’s spirits, shortchanging them once again by lulling them into a sense of false security that everything is just fine and the exhaustion and frustration and burnout that they feel is just how life is supposed to be.
The Church’s role is not to accommodate, or to placate, or to medicate.  The Church’s role is to remind people what is important, what they claim to believe, and what that means in their daily lives.  As such, the Church’s role ought to be that of the culturally relevant prophet, continually calling people away from their current distractions and back to the faith that they claim to believe.  To modify a saying of Finley Peter Dunne,  the role of the Church is to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable.   
I hope that these abbreviated approaches to a life of faith accomplish what  Tim Jordan, quoted in the article, claims – that these are not meant to “replace the Bible”, but to “whet the appetite.”  But I think that in a culture that teaches people that they can shortchange themselves in every area of life and somehow be better for it, I don’t think most people are going to feel like there’s any reason to change what they’re doing – including relying on bites of the Bible rather than a full meal.  

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