Active Christianity

In Mustard Seed versus McWorld, futurist writer Tom Sine does a great job providing solutions to the problems Christianity faces in a globalized world. Sine uses the term "McWorld" to personify the new globalized economy, as well as its accompanying ideological shifts.

The book is laid out as a study guide in sections that include brief chapter summaries, questions for group discussion, and tangible worldwide actions or projects others have done to help Christianity in its struggle against the ravages of globalization.

Sine begins by showing us the problems that a globalized economy has created, such as the development of a large class of working poor with little chance of advancement, as well as environmental and genetic diversity problems. However, Sine's greatest distress comes from what he sees as McWorld's incredibly strong ideological pull on our society. We are being told that happiness lies in consumption as well as finding a good and stable job - in lieu of community or a life of faith. And in order to achieve this "average" standard of life, workers are being asked to put in more and more hours, many times at two or three jobs.

This increase in work hours also has meant a decrease in the quantity and quality of time spent in church. The Western church has been shrinking for years, and its members are getting older and older. This decline will also lead to a sharp decline in missions funding. In short, Sine says, McWorld is a better evangelizer than the church.

Sine also takes issue with what he calls "dualistic Christianity." He believes there are too many Christians who separate their church lives from the rest of their lives, especially in the realm of social justice. In both the Old and New Testaments, scripture calls us to work with the poor and the dispossessed, but Sine believes these passages have been largely ignored.

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2000
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