As regular readers will know, since moving to Newcastle Zoë and I haven’t settled in a local church; consequently the focus of our faith has shifted dramatically; away from a local church community, towards a dispersed group of believers and focus on how we live our lives. And so we come to Leo Hickman’s ‘A Life Stripped Bare’
I heard Leo speak at Greenbelt last year and was well impressed with what he said and his answers to some difficult questions. The book is of a similar quality; full of great discussion and jolly humorous anecdotes, as Leo seeks to live ethically for a year.
Having read the book I am more convinced than ever of the importance of ethical living. Moreover, I am increasingly convinced that this should be at the heart of Christian discipleship. I can fully understand why what we do as Christians is so heavily reliant on key figures in church history (Augustine, Luther, Wesley, St Paul and even Christ himself) but the consequence of this is that discipleship does not deal with some very modern issues; Wesley did not have to consider his carbon footprint as he travelled horseback, Augustine did not have to consider food-miles and I suspect Martin Luther’s robes were not sown together in an Indonesian sweat shop.
For ‘the cloud of witnesses’ that went before us, ethical living probably equated to tithing. Today tithing is not the issue: ethical consumerism is much more important. The good caused by ten percent given to charity is irrelevant if ninety percent screws the planet and those who live in it.