What began at the Tower of Babel has increasingly become a global affair. All of
world history is a project to become a “tower to the heavens” as a self
contained and self sufficient world, but this is increasingly judged everywhere,
and more and more, crisis is introduced and interjected into history.
Jesus and His church speeds and spreads this faster and faster, until now in the
modern world whole cable channels are devoted day and night to announcing
constant judgment (crisis) 24 hours a day, coming upon us. We are anxiety ridden in constant response to constant announcement of judgment. We still try to make a self contained virtue of what is coming upon us by writing books like,
“Thriving on Chaos” and “The One Minute Manager” (he has to manage his
enterprises here in one minute because has to rush next door to keep his towers
from collapsing over there as well–no one has enough time to stave off all of
the crisis of a judgment ridden life). But, we keep trying harder and harder to
be “self contained.” Whole enterprises, like Harvard University, are devoted
with billions of dollars, to figuring out how to build better towers that will go higher and stand up longer, but they keep falling down.
Modern ministry in a pluralistic world is one of “screwing up the pluralism” by having increasing crisis to come into every enterprise that we are a part of, and then trying to cooperate with just how it is that God is bringing crisis to where ever we are.
Jesus said that he came to bring Judgment, to make the blind see and those who see blind. If one lives amongst the self proclaimed “brights” in a “smart town” (a place like Boston or Cambridge, or Manhattan for example) Christians will have a ministry of “striking people with blindness,” just like Elisha did with the Syrian army. Whenever Jesus walks in the room, the old ideas stop working.
Suddenly, nothing makes sense any more, and whatever it is that He does creates confusion. It is rather an update on the medicine man’s powers no longer working after the Gospel begins to be preached. All of Jesus miracles in the Gospels create disruption and trouble. It is no different now. The Tower of Babel stops working whenever God shows up. All the smart people get confused. It is only after they are stricken with blindness that there is a new search for sight, and that is what one hopes for.
And there does seem to be a time element. Somehow, the old ideas used to work better than they do now. Increasingly, it is only as the old ideas are laid at Jesus feet that something new is given that once again brings consistency and harmony. Homer’s world worked better in Homer’s time and is today impossible. But oddly, that world is also a world that gets redeemed, and everything is made new. I suppose that even includes Aristotle. But even he will have to submit to conversion and to Babylonian Captivity and death before he is resurrected.