Pop Theology seems like an unlikely name for a section of our magazine. In fact, we often think as Christians we need to go against the popular demand. This is a new section of Light + Life Magazine devoted to connecting our current culture to Christ. In this section, we will focus every month on a cultural or popular phenomenon with a challenge to help us think differently, study God’s Word, and learn how to engage with the people we are closest to with the goal to better ourselves, love God and bring others to know Him too.
Did you know you can automate nearly everything nowadays? Sounds funny, but it’s true. One way we automate things in life is by increasing efficiency and sending things to our doorstep or inbox. Subscription boxes can be quite the little lifesavers. Say you always forget to buy razor blades until it’s too late. There’s a subscription for that. Do you forget to eat breakfast in the morning and feel totally drained by noon? There’s a subscription for that. Maybe you never have anything fun to do with your kids on a rainy day. Yes, there’s even a box for that. Can’t ever decide which tie to buy? Check out the Tie Bar. Want to expand your style but don’t know where to start? Try Five Four Club or Trunk Club. Like funky socks? Sockwork is sure to have something for you. Don’t eat meat? HelloFresh is great for vegetarians; it offers nutrient-packed meals for all meat-free eaters. Like spice for your meatless food? Heat Hot Sauce Shop ships monthly varieties right to your doorstep. Want high-quality, locally sourced coffee the moment you need it? Coffee Crate cuts your Starbucks habit significantly. Forget to switch your toothbrush every three months? Quip ships you a refill and toothpaste. You name it; it is out there ready for your mailbox.
Even scripture delivery can be automated. Did you know you can subscribe to an inbox delivery for the Word of God? The Bible can come directly into your email inbox daily or weekly. YouVersion, the maker of the famous Bible App for your smart phone, first designed the app to be an alternative social media application to the secular networks. When Apple first launched a digital store for iPhone applications, YouVersion had the first Bible application available. Within the first few days, the Bible App had over 80,000 downloads and required a small staff to maintain. It now offers Bible text in 1,635 versions, representing 1,171 languages! According to YouVersion statistics (fmchr.ch/yvyir), there have been more than 300 million installs of the Bible App to smart phones and more than 16.7 billion Bible chapters read since its launch.
No one can argue that the creation of this application is a bad thing. I do, however, challenge you to think about over-automizing your spiritual life. It can be so easy to just check boxes and move on. Do you automate relationships? With the rise of social media, it has become so easy to put on a facade of a lifestyle while feeling, in reality, isolated and lonely by neglecting truly rich relationships and dialogue.
Can you think of someone easier to talk to than your best friend? Do you have someone like that in your life? Everything just flows when you talk to your closest friend. Talking and listening are instinctual and effortless when you are with that special person. I often wonder what it would be like to be in a back-and-forth dialogue with God. I often hear Him. I certainly feel Him, but in reading scripture, I recognize people who are in literal dialogue with God. The seventh century prophet Habakkuk shows us how to bring concerns to God when His ways appear incomprehensible. The book of Habakkuk reports a dialogue between the prophet and the God of Israel. The prophet asks questions, and God answers. During a time of isolation and despair for humanity, Habakkuk asks God questions about the nature of injustice, evil and punishment. God answers Habakkuk by revealing His righteousness and sovereignty, and the prophet responds with worship, adoration and faith. This scripture preserves the inspired multi-directional dialogues and prayers of the prophet. While the book reads as a one-on-one conversation between God and Habakkuk, the book reflects the kinds of questions that many righteous people ask.
Why does evil seem to go unpunished for so long? Why does God sometimes reprove a lesser evil by allowing a greater evil? The book begins with a cry, “How long?” Habakkuk laments rampant violence and injustice in Judah. We learn that Habakkuk is assured God is already at work. He stands in awe at God’s holiness and power. His reaction to the presence of God (3:16) is similar to that of the Apostle John when the risen Christ appears to him in Revelation 1:17. Habakkuk recounts the psalms and believes that God is active in his own moment in time as well as in the past. Habakkuk pursues God and the presence of God. The answers he receives show God as the Revealer of Truth. Habakkuk’s passion is for all to know the glory of God’s name and righteousness around all of His people.
Are you allowing your spirituality to come to your doorstep, mailbox or inbox? Or are you pursuing God? Are you pursuing His call on your life? Will you join me in seeking righteousness and bringing justice [right standing] to all of God’s people? In what ways can you be in further dialogue with God? How, even before you speak, is He already working?
We are delighted to offer current and impactful messages to bring others to know and love God further. If you are interested in submitting an article for this new Pop Theology section of Light + Life, contact Executive Editor Jeff Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-244-3660 and ask for Light + Life Magazine.
Jay Cordova is an ordained elder who serves as the publisher of Light + Life and the director of communications for the Free Methodist Church – USA. He previously worked as a startup business entrepreneur and coached small businesses.1