Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Suburban Theology

Interesting thoughts about spirituality and suburbia I'm still mulling over. Read and mull here.

And speaking of suburbia and spirituality, Albert Hsu has a forthcoming book with InterVarsity Press titled The Suburban Christian. It should be interesting, as is his blog.

Interested readers should also check out Kevin Kruse's White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Princeton UP, 2005). He teaches history at Princeton and there's a nice interview about the book on his webpage. Kruse draws important connections between the rise of suburbia, racism, and the emergence of right-wing politics. Such things fit hand in glove and he sets an important historical context that all should think critically about. Kruse is at work on a book about the Religious Right and also has a forthcoming collection of essays on what is called the new suburban history. Read more here.


billy westwood said...

Thanks Phil,

Your boy is "touching" on some really important matters. But, like he said people in the "suburbs," whatever the geographical location of the 0 "neo-epicurean" pleasure seekers may be, tend to avoid being confronted with truth that requires social change. So, I wonder how we will move deeper into the social issues that he is bringing up.

Phil said...

It seems to me that (white) people (and peoples of colors) with a more "progressive" vision of the world with respect to racial reconciliation, racial justice, economic equality, etc. must decide to remain in the suburbs and bring up the hard questions, and offer the critiques that most are content to ignore. One must remain radical and committed in this context.

James Fletcher Baxter said...

The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human' determines our view
of self, others, relationships, institutions, life, and
future. Important? Only the Creator who made us
in His own image is qualified to define us accurately.
Choose wisely...there are results.

Many problems in human experience are the result of
false and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the

Let us proclaim it. Behold!
The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV


Dan said...

as a member of the American youth, and having been exposed to much of these types of people, i can speak from experience to the effects life in the suburban religious right. there is not one of my contemporaries ive ever met who hasnt wanted, deep down, even if they wont admit it at first, to break away from the teathers of that type of environment. its such a cultural wasteland that television (fox news) and the internet (fox are how most of the right's children and teenagers are tought. but when we get the pleasure of exposure to the real world from a friend and/or teacher **cough cough**, we are really able to step back and see that part of america for what it really is. its a cultural wasteland, arid of any change or enthicity. no one can do anything differently without being labeled as insane, literally, i can speak to that from experience. but what do i know? im just a high school student taking american history for summer school at a private christian church on the outskirts of one of our nations biggest cities.


ash said...

this is why travel and getting outside of the burbisphere is so important, especially with so many people retreating to the "safety" of the burbs.

in essence you wind up cultivating a sort of social, religious, cultural and mental custom of incest and spiritual retardation.