Monday, June 22, 2009

Seek the Old Paths

The following is an excerpt from an interview of Ken Meyers by Walter Henegar. For the full interview go to By Faith magazine Summer 2009 edition.

Q: Evangelicals today are often preoccupied with novelty: new strategies, new ministry models, new insights for successful Christian living. How do you address this?

A: C.S. Lewis said one of the distinctive aspects of the modern mind is the assumption that newer things are always better. We've become preoccupied with things we don't have rather than nurturing and stewarding the things we do have. My favorite example of this is the shift since the 1970s toward informality in public. People used to wear coats and ties to go to a baseball game, and now they wear a ball cap at church. We've moved away from formality toward informality in almost every area - language, dance, food, worship, music - and I'm convinced that it's largely a suspicion of authority. You don't want to submit to a set of standards and proprieties that you didn't freely choose. So, if the move toward informality expresses a widespread suspicion of authority, then why would that be a good, up-to-the-minute trend to endorse? Wendell Berry says we need to attend to the intrinsic meaning of things: "What is needed is a work of durable value; the time or age of it matters only after the value of it has been established." So, it's the value of the thing itself, not whether or not it's contemporary. Of course, it's good to be aware of the shape of what is contemporary, but that's no reason to give it the benefit of the doubt.

1 comment:

Miss Jen said...