Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Totally Useless Post on Market and Gospel

I have quite enjoyed the brief exchange based loosely around Peter Rollins and the Emerging Church over at AUFS.

It has got me thinking of 'market logic'. Now I suspect the use of this term over at AUFS is pulled directly from specific theoretical constructs but I want to only consider it here as a lay person. A market is a space in which exchange occurs. There is commonly accepted (even if grudgingly) transference of value in that after an exchange both parties are supposed to remain essentially equal. The reality in our market however is that inequality emerges. The discussion at AUFS seemed to acknowledge that it is impossible to escape or live outside of the market logic. However, there were also allusions towards a sense of compromising fidelity in this reality. Now basic to the theology of the Gospel or to put it less removed basic to the Gospel is that it is free. In as much as the Gospel enters the market it is vanished and replaced with an idol . . . an idol fits perfectly into the marketplace. You believe there is an exchange of value but there is only an impoverishing. The Gospel allows for no marketing because there is no measurable exchange rate.
The discussion turned towards finding a space or repetition which does not fall immediately prone to re-capture.
The answer? The possibility of divine worship and divine judgment.

"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with Babylon and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
O Babylon, city of power!
In one hour your doom has come!'

"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.

"They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.'

And what is asked of the inhabitants from the voice of heaven?
Come out of her, my people
Is this the reverse of Jeremiah's exiled community? What are we coming out of? Where are we fleeing towards? Where is that smell of smoke coming from!?
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

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