The Gardener by Brian Zahnd
I’ve been thinking a lot about metaphors lately—especially the ones most commonly used in church. Whatever metaphor or metaphors we choose to be primary will inevitably shape both our perspective and approach—how we think and how we behave.
The military metaphor is one we’re all familiar with. “I’m in the Lord’s army… Yes Sir!” (I sang that a lot as a kid growing up in church). What I don’t love about this metaphor is how simplistic, black and white, its perspective is. Either you’re fighting with me or you are my enemy. Everyone is either a good guy or a bad guy. Life is a battle. There are winners and there are losers.
The competitive metaphor is similar. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt says, “This tribal psychology is so deeply pleasurable that even when we don’t have tribes, we go ahead and make them, because it’s fun. Sports is to war as pornography is to sex. We get to exercise some ancient, ancient drives.” So in sports, you’re either fighting with me or you are my opposition. Life is a contest. There are winners and there are losers. Nobody wants a tie.
While these types of metaphors are certainly found in Scripture, I do wonder about people who… Read More