Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 17

VOLUME 11, NUMBER 1 A JOURNAL FOR THE THEOLOGY OF CULTURE iPod.” Does that make sense? This is what I think Jesus is putting forth in this vision. It sounds like it’s just about drinking, but I think it was more than that. It was envisioning what it’s going to be like. We’re going to have fun. This is going to be amazing. Won’t it be great when we always feel this way? Now that you see how amazing it is, you want to be part of building that world so that everybody can experience it. Colonization, as I mentioned before, does not just take lands and resources, but it shapes our imagination of what’s even possible. How does colonialism work? It seems settled. It seems as if it could never be changed, could never be undone. Let me just ask you a question here. If you were to imagine—think for a second—the most awesome educational system possible, what would be some components of it? (Responses from the audience.) Yeah, competitive? Well-funded? Practical? Outdoors? Fun? Mentorship? Arts and Crafts? Music? So is that what you get here? Is that how your education is fundamentally centered here? I’ve noticed when I ask people this, these are the things they always come up with. But how many of us are actually building that educational system? We’re not, right? We’re surviving this system because we think it’s the only thing we can have, and we spend zero time actually building an educational system we would actually want. But how often do we do this in all areas of life? We accept the conditions we’ve been given and never say, what do we actually want, and can we try to create this? Evangelicals shou ld be at the forefront of doing this. We believe in the God of the impossible. We don’t believe in a god of limitations. We don’t believe in a god who accepts only what has been given. God can do everything. Yet how many times do I see Evangelicals say, you can’t do that: that’s impractical. When did God become limited to being practical? This could be the space, you know? We should in a certain way be the leaders of people thinking outside the box, saying, what would we actually want? We have God behind us to imagine a different world. It might not always be simple; it might be collective work. It takes a while to decolonize our imagination, and that’s an ongoing process. But it’s interesting how little energy we put into doing that. Now, am I saying that we should never do anything practical? No, there are short-term practical things that we need to do that are not always the most ideal thing we would like to do. We have emergencies; we have people whose lives are on the line. We’ll have to do things in the short term. But I don’t think short-term strategies are the antithesis of a long-term vision; I think they actually always have to go together, because if you don’t have your long-term vision, how do you know if your short-term strategies are working? Or how do you know whether they’re taking us closer to where we want to be or farther away? 16