Theology of the hammer

In happier days, Millard Fuller used to talk about the "theology of the hammer"--that though we may disagree on theological, social, and philosophical matters, we can still pick up a hammer and work together to build a house for a poor family that needs one. It's an approach that moves beyond agendas and ideologies and into the real work of the church--expressing God's love to our neighbors.

I spent much of yesterday listening to and then interviewing Jim Wallis, and he made this point:
Ideology has become a "principality and power" (as Paul out it in Ephesians), or a systemic evil in the United States.

Whatever our ideology--religious right, secularist, feminists, Republican, Democrat, anarchist--we see ourselves in constant battle with "the enemy," however we define the enemy, usually anyone who disagrees with our ideology. So our aim becomes not finding solutions to societal ills, but placing blame and making sure our side looks better. And we can't compromise, because if we give the enemy a foothold, the battle is lost.

We need a national excorcism I think, from this kind of poisonness public debate, and toward some kind of workable, respectful working together to solve our society's and the world's growing list of ill.

We fight among each other, said Wallis, and the children of the world fall between the cracks. Shame on us.


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