Not very long ago, it seemed that we Westerners had nearly given up on the local. The old way of living, based in the local family, tribe, and neighborhood, was out. The larger human family, the cultures, and the new global economy were in. All of the hip seminars, business books, and magazine articles were a play on some variation of the theme of how networks make the world go round.
We know that in our world ideas don’t seem to last long. As Bob Dylan sang, “For the loser now, Will be later to win, For the times they, They are a-changin’” (This truth can also bring us a sense of relief when we consider that we live in a city and a time that does not find the Gospel of Jesus at all fashionable… tomorrow that will all change.) These days, the network is falling into disfavor. While many have no doubt experienced benefits from going global, many others—ourselves included—have experienced serious drawbacks and sometimes tragic consequences. Think no further than the global economic crisis, or global trade, or the global war on terror.
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