Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What's wrong with the world

According to Dr. N.T. Wright (Tom to me), the 8 most significant issues facing the world today are:

(1) Rise of Terrorism on a global scale. 9/11 was a significant event that does seem to be one isolated incident. Terrorism around the global is becoming more of an issue.

(2) The global economy. Like it or not, capitalism rules the day. Even communist countries like China are involved in capitalist markets. One of the side affects of this system, at least that can be seen, is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are remaining poor.

(3) Global Warming. Whatever the cause, industry or not, the planet is getting warmer. The polar icecaps are melting. The people most affected by global warming are the poorest of the poor.

(4) Medical Technology, particularly cloning and stem cell research, is a major moral issue.

(5) “The puzzle of democracy.” Democracy isn’t answering the ails of the world as some thought it might.

(6) Standoff between Secularism and Fundamentalism. These two opposing groups feed off each other. Fundamentalist Islamics and Christians make secularism more attractive.

(7) “Puzzle of Global Governance.” The huge military force of the US is dangerously self serving. Is it possible that global governance might bring about more justice? If so what might it look like? The UN doesn’t seem to be cutting it.

(8) The problem of Beauty. In the postmodern world, "Artists don't know how to say what needs to be said." Beauty is not well defined and thus hope is ambiguous.


Anonymous said...

What do you think is missing from this list?

About global warming, I've talked with scientists - real ones, not cheesy Christian pseudo-scientists - who say that yes, the world is getting warmer, but that it's not what everyone thinks it is. They said that the planet naturally heals and cools itself every few thousand years, and that there is nothing to be overly concerned about it. I don't know enough about it to say one way or another; I just found it interesting. Do you know more about this issue?

I think I would add to any list of the problems in the world that the church is divided. If we could unify, there's no telling what we could do to help some of these and other problems, not to mention the fact that Jesus would be more pleased with us and we'd more faithfully witness to the One who will make all things right.

I suppose I would also add the problem that people who call themselves Christians don't live according to the way of Jesus.

I know this is a bit of a different approach than what he is taking, but these are my thoughts. I love you bro!

Unknown said...


Honestly, I'm not that well informed on the issue of Global warming. I've heard Al Gore's apocalyptic rhetoric about the issue. I know that scientists are divided. Wright mentioned that, but he said regardless of the cause or even the severity, people groups in the third world are being affected, and will only continue to be affected. Maybe the issue should be broadened to the global environment? Even if global warming is not the chief issue, it seems that the environment is increasingly being threatened by industry or the growth of human population.

That is a very good point. The division of the church to me would be a major issue facing the world. In some ways, I think Wright tried to get at some of this in his "standoff between Secularism and fundamentalism." Though, I still think you're emphasis deserves its own category.

I think it would be equally valuable to make a list of the major issues facing the church today. Maybe it would be helpful to narrow to the western church (simply because that is what we're familiar with).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply bro. I agree that environmental issues should certainly be something we take seriously. We're doing a quick mini-series this Spring on "God is Green" or something like that. I'm doing one on the theological underpinnings of caring about the environment. My plan is to root it in Genesis 1-2 and Romans 8, focusing on the original human task and how that plays out in terms of new creation. At the very least, your point about how it affects people in the rest of the world should force us to pay attention and change our practices.

I think I might try to reflect and come up with a list of my own, just because, as you say, it would be a great exercise. That will be fun.

Love and Peace