Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Unthinkable Life

Life, Inc. How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back, by Douglas Rushkoff.
Missional guru, Alan Roxburgh, has written a good review of this book on his blog. Here are a couple of paragraphs from it:

“I read it in one sitting. A lot of the material is familiar and, yes, he overstates and exaggerates in places where it isn’t needed. Frankly, it's pretty easy to critique this book at many levels, in part because it tries to tackle a tough piece of social history in a book wanting to communicate with people who don’t have the inside ‘expertise’ of social historians, economists or urban studies. It's a book that over-stretches by oversimplifying economic developments that are more complex than he wishes to own. All of this being the case, Rushkoff has still written a book that deserves our attention. It would seem to be the vocation of church leadership to read with a critical eye and not simply take everything at face value. There is much in this book that will assist us in framing why it is so hard right now to shape local churches and denominational systems in anything that goes much beyond the latest ‘seeker’ techniques or church growth gift-wrapped in glossy missional paper.

“Part of living in an unthinkable world is discovering how to see the ways certain parts of life we simply ‘take for granted’ come out of very specific social histories, now forgotten, that are blinding us not just to the ways we are being shaped but from imagining a different world. In reading Rushkoff we are getting very close to the lived anxieties of the people who come, hungering and thirsting to our churches whom we too often send away empty because we are focused on meeting needs and being seeker friendly. We see how corporatism has framed a way of living in suburban life shaped by the automobile that isolated people from neighbours and makes us frightened of the very strangers the Gospel calls us to embrace.”

The book was published by Random House, June 2, 2009

PS, by 'an unthinkable world' I understand Roxburgh to mean a world we haven't yet envisaged, rather than one that can't be envisaged.

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