by Mike Metzger & John Seel
Shell games started in the streets as sleights of hand—no pea was under any shell. The game played on baseball Jumbotrons is different. There is a pea and most can pick it out. The old shell game is still played, but now by the likes of British Petroleum and Goldman Sachs. It’s known as Corporate Social Responsibility. And it’s still a sleight of hand.
Books on Christianity will not trouble those outside the faith, wrote C.S. Lewis. He recommended “more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent.” Latent means underlying or hidden. It fits human design (creation) yet recognizes human corruption (the fall). Sequencing: Deciphering Your Company’s DNA is a case study in latency.
WWJD is speculative. WDJD is substantive.
Several years ago WWJD bracelets were popular: What would Jesus do? But this is a speculative question—Dallas Willard says the point is not how Jesus would behave “on the spot.” The better question is: What did Jesus do—WDJD? For example, did Jesus define shalom as faith flourishing to the degree that others flourish?
We need better fireworks.
Americans can find them in The Federalist Papers. This is where several Founding Fathers expressed fear of lodging unchecked power in the hands of one person or one institution. They had a negative word for this kind of power—a word that’s become so commonplace today that any caution against it will likely set off some fireworks. That might be a good thing.