For generations individuals have banded together to fight against the broken and inequitable systems of their day. Unfortunately, those systems continue to rebuild themselves into new systems that are as evil and insidious as the torn down system they replace. Soong-Chan Rah teaches us that these systems of evil continue to re-emerge because we have not uprooted the power structures that give them life, i.e. the narratives and stories upon which they thrive. As we work to change power structures and systems, we must constantly ask ourselves who is controlling the underlying narratives and stories that feed the power structures we want changed.
Rah directs us to embrace lament as a means of accessing the truth necessary to combat false narratives and stories. Rather than blindly accepting the false narratives and stories that perpetuate broken systems we lean into the truth learned from lament. From the space of lament we can declare to the evil power structures, “YOUR TIME IS UP!”
Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah is Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL and the author of Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, a commentary on the book of Lamentations (IVP Books, 2015); The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity (IVP Books, 2009); Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church (Moody, 2010); and co-editor of Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations (Judson, 2012). He is the co-author of Return to Justice (Brazos, 2016); and Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014).