Just finished this book & want to recommend to folks in Christian ministry. It's a gift to the Church: the last book in @RootAndrew's trilogy unpacking how philosopher Charles Taylor’s works on secularity might affect discipleship, pastoral leadership & congregational life. 1/13
Root offers a series of meditations on time and speed, dialoguing with Taylor, who is Catholic, loads of Protestant theologians, and also other scholars – from sociology, political science, and other fields – who don’t necessarily identify with a particular faith tradition. 2/13
His argument is that late modernity’s idol of innovation at all costs – w/ its attendant demigods of technological acceleration, acceleration of social life, & acceleration of pace of life – manufactures a set of conditions that leads to depression, fatigue, & hopelessness. 3/13
"Postmodernity"'s drive to produce “authenticity” (be it neo-bohemian, neo-medieval, neo-whatever) and to curate and publicize multiple selves (“living multiple lifetimes”) can be addictive and can lead ironically to a chronic vapidity and an acute felt sense of alienation. 4/13
This “time sickness” functions through an instrumentalization of human beings, evinced in unlikely bedfellows as diverse as incessant church change agendas and the normalization of pornography. Its common symptom is a disconnected personhood. 5/13
This personhood is more individual than relational, more will than spirit, more open/“available” than “closed”/mysterious – and we therefore find ourselves turned in, unable to forget ourselves, and unlikely to get lost in wonder, love, and praise. 6/13
I love how deeply theological the work is: the antidote to this malaise does not come from ourselves but from God , who is not anti-change but always conditions change on relationship with neighbors “we minister to and receive ministry from”,... 7/13
...who is always in motion and carrying us into a thorough transformation through sharing together in the personhood of Jesus Christ. 8/13
I love how practical it is – but never facile. IMHO some of what peddles itself as new/innovative/liminal/pick-your-label these days is just the next era's dressed-up and suave version of the same old problem. Root calls this “swapping one kind of Christendom for another”. 9/13
As I read the book, I actually felt better. I felt helped, ministered to – as I did after reading the first two books of the trilogy, which I recommend too. And I believe deeply that churches and lay and clergy leaders of diverse traditions will feel better reading it, too. 10/13
Not because we’ve unlocked a fresh, hidden chamber of fabulous new ideas in order to speed up our ministry to keep it relevant. Not because we’ve overcorrected and slowed way down (hint: this book is not a Luddite manifesto & the prescribed medicine is not simply to stop). 11/13
But because we’ve – through prayer, confession, courage and humility, grace and gracious judgment, testimony, neighborliness and mercy and willingness to suffer and celebrate together – started to rediscover the resonance, or fullness of life... 12/13
...that's not held together by the rickety scaffolding of curating an avant-garde/fascinating/eternally-snarky-&-proud-of-it persona to our social media followers, but is held within the stable creativity who is God, who is the eternity of love breaking into time. Read it! 13/13

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