At the time his newest book was ‘Wild Hope’ – a book I bought, which I knew was meant to be amazing, but yet never got around to reading. And the thing with Tom Sine is that, among other things, he’s a futurist. He tries to make predictions about what the world is going to be like in a few years time so that we can prepare ourselves to deal with the problems we’re going to be facing. But once that future arrives, there’s not really a lot of point in reading a book that predicted it. So every few years Tom Sine produces another book. The latest is ‘The New Conspirators’ which, thankfully, I did get round to reading.
He’s also a Christian, which means he sees the hope for our world lying in the teachings of Jesus, and in Jesus himself. This may seem fantastical to some (as it does to me, and *I’m* a Christian, albeit a sometimes doubtful one) but I admire Tom for his unapologetic adherence to Jesus’ ways.
It’s an inspiring, well-written but worrying read as it faces head-on the challenges we may be up against in the coming years.
Here’s a couple of my favourite snippets:
“At the core of the modern worldview underlying globalization is the assertion that the ultimate in human experience is defined primarily in economic terms… it is increasingly colonizing the imaginations of peoples all over our planet to buy into its notions of what constitutes the good life and better future….
Our Christian faith… affirm(s) that the ultimate will only be found in a different reality and a different dream for the global future, defined by the restoration of our relationship to the creator God. It is a dream in which the ultimate is found in seeing broken lives restored. It is a dream in which justice finally comes for the poor, wholeness for God’s good creation and shalom for the nations.”
“Remember that Jesus’ empire was not ushered in with pomp and circumstance. It had its origins with a baby born in a cow stall in an undistinguished village in the Roman Empire. When Jesus began teaching, he made clear that his new empire would be unlike any empire the world had ever seen. It came on a donkey’s back. It’s ‘Imperial Council’ was comprised of a handful of unemployed fisherman, a couple of I.R.S. agents, a prostitute and some other hanger-ons. Jesus demonstrated how to wield his imperial power by washing feet, telling stories and playing with kids. Jesus’ empire is based on the absurd values that the last should be first, losers are winners and the most influential in this empire should clean the toilets.
Members of this empire are instructed to love their enemies, forgive their friends, always give twice as much as people ask of them and never pursue power or position. Jesus insisted that those who are a part of his empire shouldn’t worry about finances, but simply trust God. The resources to run this empire were basins, towels and leftover lunches. This empire also developed a reputation for constant partying – almost always with the wrong kind of people.
Seriously, is this any way to run an empire? Imagine what would happen if you ran a political, economic or even religious institution with these bizarre values. Clearly, it wouldn’t have much of a future. These values might even get the leader assassinated. It is essential that we remember that this unlikely empire is destined to defeat the evil that victimizes our lives and brutalizes God’s world.”