Author: Andy Kingston-Smith, Assistant Lecturer in Mission Studies, Redcliffe College.
The theme “just living” provokes a number of possible interpretations; some relate to our physical context, some to the “times we live in”, still others to our status in life.
When considering contemporary times, the pursuit of justice-based living has been brought into sharp focus by the current banking crisis resulting from the credit crunch. If we ever thought that high-flying bankers lived in ivory towers, inaccessible and remote, then the banking crisis dispels the myth that they are detached and we are unaffected. We are now feeling the full force of maverick greed-inducing pragmatism, laced with an intoxicating mixture of dangerous “hedging” and “betting”. The pawns are us, ordinary men and women affected by their decisions to greater or lesser extents.
This short article is not intended to provide a rigorous academic critique (that I leave to our other contributors), but to challenge and provoke us to consider God’s fingerprints on this planet, so evident around us, but suffering from the smudges and stains of our crass arrogance. To that end I offer my disclaimer that this article might jeopardise the stability of our comfort zones! Environmental issues, of course, are inextricably linked to this backdrop of economic fall-out.
At the recent John Ray Initiative (JRI) 1 /Redcliffe College Environment Conference 2 in January, Dr Andrew Steer3 portrayed a hope-fuelled scenario. He reminded us that we have much to be thankful for… millions raised out of poverty, huge progress achieved in tackling illiteracy, not to mention the empowering of women into affirming and meaningful employment, and improved welfare for their children.
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