Love isn’t blind, but it’s often nearsighted. It’s part of what makes marriages work, as in “I only have eyes for you.” But it can make institutions resist paradigm shifts, for when they only have eyes for what they love, they tend to only be nearsighted. This seems to be the case in three modern institutions: media, business, and the church.
In 1954 Ted Williams batted .345, topping Cleveland’s Bobby Avila, who hit .341. But Williams didn’t win the batting title. He didn’t have enough plate appearances. Baseball measures consistency as well as connecting. If the same holds true for the Christian faith, this raises a troubling question: why are we so inconsistent in church attendance?
With Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement, the last Protestant leaves the Supreme Court. Where have all the Protestants gone, especially in our country’s leading institutions? The answer is that modern Protestantism is the anti-institution institution.
Buzz easily becomes a bastard.
In the 1970s, GM’s market share was slipping. Diesel fuel was cheap, so GM got buzzed about diesel engines. It slapped diesel parts on Oldsmobile’s V-8 engines. It was a bastard design with disastrous results. We might see the same result with the release of James Hunter’s To Change the World. It might create a buzz with many churches, slapping certain words like “faithful presence” on their existing programs. The results will be inglorious bastards.