God's Synchronicity...  

Posted by Matt

...can be pretty disturbing.

I'm sure some of you have had those days or even weeks where some sort of image or symbol or theme continues to pop up in your life and you are no longer able to reject its presence as coincidental.

Carl Jung had this whole, convoluted, philosophical boulder of yarn in which he described the workings of and the nature of synchronicity.

Example of synchronicity:
Basically, you wake up in the morning and while showering behind your fish-themed shower curtain, you hear a news story on the radio about a record salmon catch off the coast of Oregon (or wherever the heck salmon are caught). As you leave the house that morning, your spouse suggests you have fish for dinner that night. Your kid calls on the cellphone right before lunch and invites you to lunch at Red Lobster, where he's pleased to announce he's got a new part time job. When you return to the office, you notice your buddy wearing a pink shirt which you give him a lot of crap about (I just accidentally mistyped "carp"). He becomes indignant and claims the color is "salmon." Throughout the day--or even the next several days--unignorable images and references to fish seem to dominate your attention. You start to wonder if God or the Universe is trying to tell you something.

Interesting, mystical, cool concept and one I really enjoy thinking about and discussing.

All that is provided to say:

I've been really interested lately in how Christianity should respond to and operate within and outside of contemporary American culture. After reading Blue Like Jazz, and as I am now working through chapter one of unchristian, I come across this insightful blog post and the article that inspired it.

So terribly true. Our contemporary culture, especially that culture which my generation and younger participate in, is an ever more diverse, hard-to-handle, hard-to-quantify mish-mash of brand/political/musical-genre/religious-sect/media/technology loyalty.

In other words:

non-conformity is totally in.

We, as the church, should be seeking to be relevant in the only way that is universal--that is, God yearns for us and wants us to accept Jesus so that we can be together in this life and the next, relieved of the guilt and debt of sin.

The way we express that is going to have to be diverse, adaptable, and predicated first on truth. Rather than seeking to tap into a particular cultural interest in Coldplay or NiN, Survivor or House, iPods or Zunes, we need to focus first on how to communicate the essential truths that link us humans up to God.

Am I saying we shouldn't try to tap into and communicate through contemporary culture? Uhh...no. I'm saying we should try to do it more effectively. What we've done too often is try to coopt and tame (all too often, five or ten years too late) what secular culture has created. Just walk into any Christian book store--you'll find ganked logo and icon after ganked logo and icon on most of the Christian tee shirts. Very few original Christian concepts for "fashion."

Don't know about you, but I think we've 1 or 2 pretty good logos to work with already. Do we really need to try to convince the World that we Christians are cool and hip with "Sonkist" tees?

Again, read the article. A lot to chew on (and a little hard to swallow for some, I'm sure).


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I'm just a suburban guy. I wish I were hardcore, I wish I were tougher, I wish I listened to cooler music, I wish I weren't a lush, I wish I had big muscles, cooler hair, and some rad tattoos, I wish I were smarter, cooler, and sexier, I wish I knew how to play guitar. Instead, I'm just a band geek, power-nerd wannabe, WoW gamer, 30 year-old dad and husband. I play french horn, I read the Vampire Chronicles as well as the Chronic-WHAT?!-les of Narnia, I like movies, but not all the snobby-artsy ones I'm "supposed" to see, and a good meal to me is Miller Lite with chicken patties topped in barbecue sauce. ...oh...and I have a big mouth.


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