Thursday, June 9, 2011

Modern Contrasts . . . Tribes (pt4)

Recently entertaining some thoughts on tribe. . . foundational post here.

Islam is right in that it embraces tribal identity and all it's requirements. But in that embrace of an ultimate good there is a rejection of an equal good; namely, progress.

Western society has embraced progress (some would say idolized) at the same level, and rejected tribe (more appropriatley, in this context, communal accountability).

Why couldn't these two things grow together? In the simplest frame, it is a matter of lazyness. Progress is easy when not "weighted" with ethical constraint (think abortion), the reverse is just as true. Tribalism is easier to manage in the familial and simplistic narrative of the dark ages but when applied to an increasingly wider scope its influence is constantly challenged in a way that undermines shaky (or, in most cases, false) authority.

To do both well requires a tremendous amount of energy and focus. So much that both societies have chosen the easy route.

A proper Christian worldview requires the application and development of both. Progress and tribe are complimenting characteristics of God's redemptive narrative. The church is still figuring this out. Be patient with us as we wander. . .


  1. Ok, so I know tribes has been your thing for a little bit now. And for a long time I agreed, but never put a lot of thought into it. But BRO! Chapter 6 of Exponential starts Part 2 and talks about Reproducing Tribes. Dude, it's stinking blowing my mind. He said, small groups are a a microcosm of the church. Good stuff my friend.

  2. Speaking of Microcosm's, we have the distinct ability in our generations to completely retell the story of Home church. instead of making tragic heroes out of the tiny inconsequential fight with authority, we get to partner with churches to develop a holistic "small" world of effecting real people, with real love, in a real meaningful way.

    Building community is a tribal concern, reproducing tribe (community DNA) can and should be natural, not forced, this isn't survival of the fittest; it's recombination to reverse the spiral of entropy and apathy that a dying form of church gets stuck in.


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