From selfie-culture to our authentic self

I was watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. It is a period piece set in the 1958 in New York City and tells the story of a Jewish and female comedian starting out quite by accident and with talent. There’s so much detail in the story that makes it incredible as a feminist story without being feminazi – something so appreciated. So there’s a lot they’re saying with the story they are telling and ton more they’re implying. Overall its remarkable storytelling and insightful social critique. Well done to the writers and actors/actresses!

There’s a subtle scene repeated in Season 1 between Mrs. Maisel and her mother. In one scene, Mrs. Maisel goes to bed with her husband and after he falls asleep gets up to take her makeup off and then “dress” herself for bed. Then before he wakes up she wakes up to go and do her hair and makeup to hop into bed and pretend that she’s been asleep and wakes up as she’s made herself up quite naturally and effortlessly. This scene is repeatedly similarly with Mrs. Maisel’s mother and she has a conversation around this with her husband toward the end of the series.

Continue reading “From selfie-culture to our authentic self”

Dysfunctional faith

My reflex response to a social media post ;-(

Today I responded reflexively and harshly to a post by one of my FaceBook friends. I have sent an apology and asked to delete my response (and may in fact do that myself anyway). I know they’d simply reposted this as a nicety from within a Christian world(view) to suddenly experience me barreling in like a bull on a china shop (Adam Savage’s experiment aside). Yet it is something I want to explore a bit further as this kind of post is symptomatic of the paradigm I’m critiquing and urging others to reflect on.

Many Christians are raised to believe in a God they don’t experience where the evidence for God, to themselves and others, becomes their belief in God despite all evidence and simple logic to the contrary. And this is considered faith!? And though this God proves both silent and absent it is further believed that such behavior, such a proving of faith, such a ridiculous and dysfunctional hide and seek, is faith? Here it is often quoted that “faith is the evidence of the unseen” as though an address in a book may be quoted with enough authority to override Jesus’ clear example of what a relationship with God looks like.

Let’s consider a rebuttal and I’m going to stoop low with recourse to the same textual legalism:

Continue reading “Dysfunctional faith”

Rise of the Nones

Within the developed world we’re seeing the rise of the “nones”, an increasing number of people who don’t identify with the world’s established religions. This is “the problem of God” presented anew in a postmodernising world and the second key conversation at Urban Mystic.

Being spiritual but not religious doesn’t mean that people aren’t spiritual. It simply means may no longer subscribe to the traditional suppliers of religious goods and services, the classic and few religious movements. People continue to turn to God after the death of God and after religion fails to capture their imagination and turn them into an adherent. Instead, they’re simply not religious. The nones have simply disconnected their quest for God from the faith of the classical, new and contemporary faith institutions and businesses. More and more people now describe themselves as spiritual but not religious, understanding that God and responsible and meaningful living is no longer synonymous with the religions and the cultures, values and mores of premodern civilisations. Continue reading “Rise of the Nones”

Christianity, a shrinking faith

I’m sure we’re all aware that Christianity is a shrinking faith in the developed world but, given how successful some churches are, not everyone agrees that there is a shared problem. One of our key conversations at Urban Mystic is that of de-/re-constructing church.

Many believe that because some churches are growing that the problem is the way others churches are doing what they’re doing when doing church. So, if they improved their social media, adopted a better approach to worship, invested in better venue and equipment, rebranded, adopted the right programs and ministries, employed the right staff, etc. that they’d go from hobbling along to well-established. But that’s not really the case as most of their growth is transfer growth. Continue reading “Christianity, a shrinking faith”

Why do I have this blog?

Having just rebooted my blog I have to pose the question, “Why do I have this blog?” Over the seasons my blogs mixed my personal and professional thinking with what’s interested and concerned me together with my hobbies and interests. In particular, this blog was reflective but created trajectories rather than went somewhere. This left the blog without coherence, which may have been ok except that it’s never sat right with me. Continue reading “Why do I have this blog?”