Beyond Liberal Community

The idea of “community” is like the sun. The more we stare at it the less we see.

Or rather, community is like Happiness, which if pursued outright always escapes us, leaving a narcissistic void (much like most discusions of worship seem to miss the essence).

Rather than a direct apprehesion or formation of community, we must think more tangentally. We cannot begin with a direct relationship between individuals separate, and then individuals together. Rather we have to ask, What environment leads toward community? What soil is needed? Which nutrients can we add? We can’t build community industrially; only prepare for its blooming organically.

In the discussion there are two dialectic poles that we circle around: the community and the individual; the collective and the singular (which comes to us through the modern political tension of state and citizen: one keeps order and limits freedom; the other expects freedom and creates disorder.) But these are not opposites, merely the division of a single concept (the concept of liberal Freedom). But man is communal from the beginning; individuals only come into existence when we forget this, or rebel against it. The individual was created at the Fall. But to be truly human is to be communal, in the image of the Triune God.

Because of this, it is my contention that the true dialectic poles are community and worship. Each is the shadow of the other; only through staring at one can we gather the outlines of the other. More on this tomorrow.