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The Death of Outrage

13 March, 2003 8:09 AM

I just posted this great article on Phuture written by New Zealander Mick Duncan.

He argues that we need to get in touch with a sense of Outrage. He writes:

"Without a sense of outrage we run the serious risk of being an ordinary person. But God created us to be extraordinary people. Outrage makes you do things that are out of the ordinary. Without a sense of outrage you run the risk of becoming nice person. But God only gave us ten commandments. There is no eleventh commandment that says, �Thou must be nice.� And without a collective sense of outrage, a church runs the risk of fast becoming a nice church. But Jesus, the Head of such a Church, was and is no Mr Nice Guy. It seems to me that Christians have bought into the sickening idea that niceness is the essence of goodness. There are more important things than being considered nice!

Check out the rest!



Just a tangential thought from your quote - I think perhaps being "ordinary" is the greatest fear of our generation, and it's being massively manipulated by the media/culture. Look at the rash of reality tv shows promising to make ordinary people into celebrities. Look at the enormous popularity of blogs and camgirls. Everyone wants to be noticed, to be special, to be famous.

Is this call to faith-based outrage driven by the same need for attention? I haven't read it yet (I'll go have a look now) so I may be being extremely pre-emptive here...but questions of motivation and influence are usually worth raising.

Beth » 13 March, 2003 10:23 AM

I haven't read it yet either, and I am heading over to it, but I have a similar initial reaction... Jesus was pretty nice guy: pretty kind, pretty loving, pretty good. There was some outrage, but it was rarely at the centre of things, and I don't know how many more "righteoussly angry" Christians I can stomach... anyway, better give it a read...

JJ » 13 March, 2003 11:20 AM

Good points - perhaps I chose the wrong quote to promote the article - Interested to hear your thoughts after you've read it?

Darren » 13 March, 2003 2:15 PM

Ah, now I've read the article and I stand by my initial reaction. A few other thoughts:

Towards the end, Mick makes a good point - there are different seasons in life, different dreams and different ways of relating to the world. I really agree with that.

But the main prompt in the article is an exhortation to "follow your fire!" To be honest, this strikes me as a fairly young stage of faith. You know - Christian teenagers punching the air and saying "Awesome!" I love those crazy kids, I'm still in that young-adult-fiery place myself, but I don't know if that's where I want to be encouraged to grow. Raw enthusiasm, without thoughtfulness, clarity and the flexibility to acknowledge other viewpoints, doesn't mean much to me.

Plus, the stories in the article struck me as kind of overly emotive, simplistic and manipulative. Not "manipulative" in an evil way, just...objectified. The life stories of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Rosa Parks were reduced to a sermon illustration, rather than allowed to breathe and be messy and complex.


Beth » 13 March, 2003 8:22 PM

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