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The Death of Community

2 May, 2003 9:27 AM

On Tuesday night at Living Room we had a rich discussion about Community.

We started by examining Zygmunt Bauman's notion that Community no longer truely exists. That while its something that we all yearn for, its unfortunately not available to us in the world we find ourselves living.

It was an amazing discussion - we really got our teeth into some cultural observation and fleshed out how Individualism, Consumerism, Transcience, Globalisation etc have all made building community a difficult thing.

I think we all came to the conclusion that we agreed with Zygmunt in many ways. In its purest form perhaps community is unattainable.

Yet, perhaps paradoxically we also all feel strongly that it is a call of Jesus and therefore one of our three core journeys for the Living Room. Its one of those Kindgom principles that we are called to strive for in the present, but that won't fully and purely be realised until the Kingdom of God is fully realised.

Its a strange feeling to make a strong committment to something that you believe will never fully be realised in this life.



Interesting notion. I don't think community will ever be perfect just as the church has never been perfect. Why? B/c there are people in it! ;>)

But seriously, I've pondered this disappointing factor many times. We pay such lip service in the emerging church to the power of community. But, in my experience, community has been a let down. Perhaps the real beauty of community is the beauty that shines through the ugliness....warts and all. Perhaps the value comes when it does function well...despite all it's shortcomings. I have seen community fail...but I have also seen it exceed the sum of it's parts. And that exception to me is when we truly function as Christ's body.

Rich » 3 May, 2003 12:05 AM

I believe that the disintegration of community is a Satanic strategy to slow the effectiveness and dissemination of the gospel. Consequently, I believe that pushing in the opposite direction of creating community is, in and of itself, an act of defiance against the powers of this world, an act of the kingdom of God.

I'm not hung up on what "pure" community is. All I know is where we are, and that any increase of community is a holy thing. It's also important, I think, to let go of idyllic visions of the near past, trying in vain to re-create something that can't work here and now. Instead, let's be creative about "ancient-future" and explore what we can do within our contexts.

Jon Reid » 4 May, 2003 3:26 PM

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