Friday, February 29, 2008
One Bull's Ass, Four Horseman, Three Evils: Eugene Peterson
The undeniably indefatigable
and incredibly hip
(who by the way, recognizes the prophetic role of "loud farts" and was prankster enough to discover "Sex and Drugs in Church: Peterson on Why the System Can't Care")...
in a section of "Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination" ..
one of the most astounding and truly prophetic books about the Book of Revelation:
thankfully doesn't get caught up in end times chartolatry and "evangelical porongraphy"
and "couldn't hit a bull on the ass with a banjo" (Douglas Wilson's delightful line) of Left Behindism..
..in speaking of the horsemen of the apocalypse, radically "gets" this hugely misunderstood chapter; rightly reoriented it from framejacking, and making it hugely practical and wholly terrifying in the appropriate way (for once):
..each of these evils (war, sickness, and famine) is common, but each is also disguised so that we culturally accept its presence as something normal, even good. War is disguised as patriotism and a glorious struggle for freedom. Famine is disguised as a higher standard of living. Sickness is disguised by technology. Evil introduces by turns, conflict, greed, and deceit into social and personal existence and undoes creation, subverting its purpose and contradicting its design of redemption. These evils present such a benign appearance in their disguises that the world unthinkingly accepts them as the forces of history, to which Christ is a lovely but essentially ineffective minority protest.
War is dressed up in the Sunday best of "competition". We are trained from an early age to get what we want not in cooperation with others but in competition against them. The means are essentially violent, whether physical or psychological, weapons or propaganda..
..Famine is nature out of balance...We put millions of people to work at idiot jobs to make machines that pollute the air we breathe so that we can move rapidly from one place to another in projectiles at lethal speeds (killing and maiming other millions - more than have died in all the wars ever fought on the earth) so that we have more time to sit before outrageously priced electronic devices that flicker with forms of flesh fantasies that attempt to convince us (usually successfully) that we must have oil and wine luxuries for which we must go back to idiot jobs to make the lethal machines...
Sickness is disguised by technology....Our bodies are systematically abused so that they no linger function easily and naturally as temples of the Holy Spirit...
-"Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination", pp76-70