Tuesday, October 21, 2008

using fakes to dismiss the real

Ironically, though, when many modern Christians use the word sovereign (another form of "kingship" or "lordship"), they make matters worse, much worse, because for them, sovereignty means absolute control, and control is a very tricky word. Again, if you're living in danger and chaos, to say, "A good king will soon be in control," would be good news.

But it's not good news at all if you live, as we do, at the end of modernity, a period that told us in a hundred different ways how we're already controlled: by our genes (genetic determinism), by class struggle (Marxism), by primitive psychological aggressions (Freudianism), be operant conditioning (Skinnerism), by evolutionary competition (social Darwinism), by laws of physics and chemistry (naturalism, reductionism), by linguistic and social constructions (some forms of extreme postmodernism), by Euro-American military and economy (colonialism), by technique and machinery (industrialism), and by advertising (consumerism).
McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 89

So, because a bunch of pretenders are claiming the throne of sovereignty, we must kick God off of that throne?

Or, should we recognize that God is sovereign despite (maybe even because of) the presence of all of those pretenders.

And if I may say, some of those pretenders are themselves simply pretenders in McLaren's mind. I mean, really, can advertising really make people do things? It may be manipulative at times, but manipulation can only go so far.

And, as well, this supposed distaste of people today to the idea of a good king cannot explain, for example, why people today are so fond of Tolkien. One of the main points of the "Lord of the Rings" is that a good and sovereign king (insofar as a human king can be sovereign) is coming and has come to take his rightful throne, taking over for a great but insane man and having a part in defeating a demonic power. Or how many people like Lewis' Narnia stories, which again often revolve around the establishing of good kings and queens. Or the continued interest in King Arthur.

Perhaps in the supposed progressive circles Mclaren runs in, the idea of a soverign king either isn't viewed positively (unless one of themselves should hold that throne), or is denied. But out here in the real world, it's still powerful and very meaningful.

But in the end our human reactions to such things are meaningless. If the Bible says that God is sovereign, then He is so, and any distaste in the idea is wrong.

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