Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Excerpt from James Jordan

Here’s a little secret I should let you in on: I have relatively few original insights when it comes to most of the stuff I'm posting. In the interest of giving credit where credit is due and in directing others who may be interested to the same wells which I have been refreshed from, I’ll be sharing some of those sources of inspiration as I go along. James Jordan has been a significant one. I’m currently reading The Sociology of the Church and I just came across (quite unexpectedly, in the midst of some seemingly very unrelated matter, I might add) this very nice encapsulation of some of the themes that I have been and will be touching upon in these posts. I thought it well worth sharing:

“The central ritual of the church is the action of Holy Communion. Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, distributed it, and they all tasted (evaluated) it, and ate it. This six-fold action (taking, thanking, restructuring, sharing, evaluating, enjoying) is the key to the Christian life in every area. An artist takes raw material, thanks God for it, creates his art and distributes it (playing a concert, exhibiting a painting), and evaluates and enjoys it in fellowship with others. A businessman takes raw material, thanks God for it, works with it and shares it by means of the free market (exchanges it for a share of someone else’s goods), and then evaluates and enjoys it in fellowship with others. This is the Christian life, and it finds it [sic] most concentrated expression in the liturgy of the sacrament.”

—James Jordan, The Sociology of the Church, p189

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