Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Good Life

In the West we have not the slightest inkling that, in reveling in affluence as we do, we are playing with fire.  This affluence so easily becomes an alternative Way, Truth, and Life, a counterfeit gospel in which to have is to be saved and to have not is to be damned.  Unfortunately, la dolce vita [= the sweet life, the good life] is not itself satisfying, not in an enduring way.  It tends to make us shallow, self-absorbed people who give ourselves to chasing what is superficial by way of styles, fads, and what is pleasurable provided there are no demands for commitments.  The styles quickly become obsolete, the fads are forgotten, and the pleasures fade like the morning mist so that this kind of life constantly has to be reinventing itself.  Those who fashion their lives around these things die of emptiness.  The pains that linger in the soul like a bad headache stay a long, long time.

It is hard to know exactly how those who have received the Word stand in relation to Christ, but they show nothing of spiritual merit in their lives despite their hearing of the Word, their born-again profession, and maybe their churchgoing.  They may show up in the born-again category in Barna's polls, but they are not in the right category in life.

--David Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lover, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World, p.90
On the contrary:
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

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