Thursday, July 12, 2012

More David Wells

Well, I'm not enjoying it. This book is driving me nuts. It is a rant.
But amidst the flotsam are some thoughtful provocations.
A few samples:

"The sense of disconnectedness (in our culture today) is of course an irony. Never before have the lines of communication between people been more numerous, more efficient or more used; email, texting and mobile phones are ubiquitous in our culture. We are the Wired Generation living in a mostly electronically mediated world. However, have you noticed that while everyone is speaking, no-one is really listening? We are swamped by voices. So many want our time and attention that for our own protection we shut out most of them. And while we are surfing the internet, emailing, watching TV or playing video games, we are doing it all alone. We are wired, but we are also more lonely and have fewer confidants than ever before. The Putnam thesis of the 1960's is correct: we are in touch with everyone potentially, but we know and are known by almost no-one in particular."

"In 1999, for the very first time, the world became urbanised, meaning that more people live in cities than in rural areas."

"Today we inhabit the world, not just our community, our small town or our corner of the countryside. We are knowledgeabe of all the great shaping and shaking events of life almost as they happen, in Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, France, China or Botswana. And this sense of being a citizen of the world is greatly exacerbated by the many forces in life that militate against our belonging to any one place. We are those, for example, who are carried by the economic tides from job to job, from place to place. We are those whose families have been dispersed like confetti in the wind, part blown in this direction, part in that. What is the bottom-line effect of it all? What is the psychological impact? It is loneliness. Loneliness is the modern plague. 

This is the plague of being disconnected, of not being rooted, of not belonging anywhere in particular but to everything in general. It is the affliction of being alone, of being unnoticed, of being carried along by an indifferent universe. Commitment - actual commitment, real bonds, a sense of belonging, not just the idea of commitment - has become a precious stone, rare, much more sought after and, when found, treasured."

Food for thought for Connect Pastors everywhere. (All 3 of us?)

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