My friend from Biblical Seminary, Scott Berkheimer, has a wonderful series on suburban theology at his theopraxis blog. Scott lives right in the middle of the ‘burbs around Philly. In fact, I admire him for sticking it out, he lives in an area that is quite crowded.
He currently has nine installments in this series, which I think says a lot about how much thought he has given this subject. I usually lose interest in my own series of posts by my fourth or fifth. You can always rely on Scott to mull things over thoroughly and to carefully weigh his words. Post number eight in the series is particularly good. He starts off with a bang:
“Who is telling the stories that shape the imaginations of those in suburban contexts?
This question is critical to addressing the idea of the pursuit of happiness as the focus of the suburban lifestyle. As I’ve mentioned before, happiness in this context is typically defined in terms of comfort, security, and personal fulfillment. And who is it that does the defining? I’d argue that it’s primarily the voice of marketing and consumption. The stories that are told that give shape to the suburban ethos are, interestingly enough, primarily stories about lack. The irony is biting – the affluent are being told that they need more stuff to find fulfillment, and the story is being accepted and owned.”