Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt! Part One, Commandment Ten

My friend Sean Gladding, one of the best people in the whole world, has written his second book. If you're familiar with his first, The Story of God, the Story of Us, you'll know Sean as a strong and sympathetic storytelling, helping us enter into familiar stories and even familiar theological assertions with fresh perspective. His new book, Ten: Words of Life for an Addicted, Compulsive, Cynical, Divided and Worn-Out Culture, is set not in the ancient past but in the present, and it explores how we might think about the Ten Commandments (or Ten Words, as he prefers) in our contemporary context.

The story begins with an angry patron of a coffeehouse thrusting a newspaper under the nose of an unsuspecting local pastor. The Ten Commandments have been politicized, forcing needless expense on taxpayers and raising the hackles of people who are tired of the oppression of the morality police. What comes next is a weeks-long group conversation about what's really behind each of the Ten Words, what's really behind our visceral reactions to them and our efforts to understand and uphold them. Every now and then the newspaper makes its presence known again, evidence of how insightful a dissection of the human experience the Ten Words are.

I thought it might be fun to celebrate the book with a kind of "Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt." I'll post one of the Ten Words here (Sean counts them down in reverse order), along with a brief snippet of the book. I'll send a free copy of the book to the person who posts the news article, song, image or other artifact that best illustrates the commandment in contemporary life--either here, in the comments, or elsewhere with the hashtag #10Cscavengerhunt. I'll announce the winner when I post the next commandment.

You have to articulate the connection you see between the commandment and the artifact; don't just hit and run on this thing. And do me and Sean a solid and spread the word about this contest; when it comes to scavenger hunts, the more the merrier, I always say. (I actually have never said that before in my life.)

Get Ten by Sean Gladding at 40% off! Click here.
And now, for our first adventure, here is our tenth word:

No lusting after your neighbor's house--or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don't set your heart on anything that is your neighbor's. (Exodus 20:17, The Message)
And now, a word from our author:

Will turned to the wider group. "There's so much to envy, isn't there? Houses. Careers. Marriages. Children. Education. Beauty. Athletic ability. Physique. Skin. Hair. Talent. Good fortune. ...

"The problem is not with desire itself. It's with the object of our desire: that which belongs to our neighbor. ... I see him as my competitor and not my neighbor." ...

Jenny spoke up. "That shouldn't surprise us though, right? Our entire economy relies on this dynamic. ... We read magazines full of beautiful, shiny people who drive beautiful, shiny cars and have beautiful, shiny things, and we want what they have."
All right. There you have it. Now it's your turn: Go fetch me a cultural artifact that symbolizes the Tenth Word (#10Cscavengerhunt). I want it. I need it. I've got to have it.

***

Oh, one more thing. Here's a short video of Sean talking about the book. Hope you enjoy it!

Sean Gladding, author of Ten from InterVarsity Press on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Karl said...

I want your phone even though mine is perfectly good.