Just started Paul Mason’s Post-Capitalism: A Guide to our Future. Not sure whether to be heartened or dismayed. We seem to be in a “Post” era – Post-modern, Post-Christendom, etc. We know where we’ve come from but have no idea where we’re heading; the past unable to provide guidance for the future. We’ve embarked on a voyage into the unknown, thrown compass and charts overboard and decided that previous experience is useless. Scary prospect! Mason thinks that the crisis in the global world order is far from over, and I think he may be right. Debt is even bigger than in 2008, inequality is rising and on top of that climate change is not being tackled. ISIS, international conflict and migration are symptoms that are hardly going to diminish.
From a church perspective, similar trends are evident. Old institutions and habits are disappearing and uncertainty prevails.
There are huge risks in all this, as people look for answers in dangerous places – political extremism, nationalism, charismatic leaders – or withdraw into a secluded world where past certainties still seem to hold sway. But from a Christian point of view, surely hope too. Money and institutions devised by humanity have never been reliable sources of security, and all this confusion serves to make that clear. History suggests that periods of economic and social upheaval can lead to spiritual renewal. Maybe one of the things we can do is keep alert for genuine signs of where and how that is going on – alert to siren voices and looking for signs of the character of Jesus.