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Quote from Dan Allender

November 24, 2010

I have been reading Sabbath by Dan Allender (Thomas Nelson, 2009) and I’m posting a couple of paragraphs about what Allender describes as conventional behaviour. This quote is in the chapter called, Sabbath Play: Despair Surrenders to Joy, on page 138. It is difficult to explain how this quote fits into a book about Sabbath so I’m not even going to try. (Read the book if you would like to know!) Allender believes that conventional behaviour is a form of despair. Here is the quote:

Conventional behavior is living life as a prepackaged, paint-in-the-numbers craft kit. It requires no creativity of hope, only dutiful obedience to whatever “truth” or “leader” or “truth leader” that enables one to escape the onus of freedom. This can occur among liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, anarchists, skinheads, gay-rights activists, and gay opponents. It involves any form of dogmatism where the party line is uncritically accepted as the superior truth to all other claimants.

Often the “truth” provides a set of parameters that shape nearly every dimension of life, including dress code, acceptable art, and use of time and money. The benefit is that the adherents get to live vicariously through the lives of their heroes rather than getting dirty in a game that requires deep-rooted hope to play. In many ways, those who are happy to be blind live the deepest form of hopelessness, because they have not even identified their fear of hope.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

8 thoughts on “Quote from Dan Allender”

  1. This is good, and very true in my experience. Freedom is a dangerous thing.

    It interests me, the line about conventional behavior being a form of despair. I'm only now truly facing the severe depression "conventional behavior" put me in. Or, now that I think about it, I don't know which came first…did the depression cause the conventional behavior, or vice-versa?

    Good points. I might have to check out that book.

  2. This is good, and very true in my experience. Freedom is a dangerous thing.

    It interests me, the line about conventional behavior being a form of despair. I'm only now truly facing the severe depression "conventional behavior" put me in. Or, now that I think about it, I don't know which came first…did the depression cause the conventional behavior, or vice-versa?

    Good points. I might have to check out that book.

  3. I'm not sure, Erin, that the rest of the book would be helpful to you. The book only addresses conventional behaviour in terms of celebrating the Sabbath. My next post is a book review of the book.

    I think Allender would say the depression came first and the conventional behaviour was a way of coping with the depression. But I'm not sure it is as simple as that.

    Erin, I think you should be encouraged that you have chosen to "get dirty in a game that requires deep-rooted hope to play".

  4. I'm not sure, Erin, that the rest of the book would be helpful to you. The book only addresses conventional behaviour in terms of celebrating the Sabbath. My next post is a book review of the book.

    I think Allender would say the depression came first and the conventional behaviour was a way of coping with the depression. But I'm not sure it is as simple as that.

    Erin, I think you should be encouraged that you have chosen to "get dirty in a game that requires deep-rooted hope to play".

  5. Thanks Susan, I'll take your advice about the book. I think you know my heart well enough to know. 🙂

    I think the conventional behavior was a result of the depression, too. Because depression always made me lonely and just want to fit in a little so I wouldn't be so lonely.

  6. Thanks Susan, I'll take your advice about the book. I think you know my heart well enough to know. 🙂

    I think the conventional behavior was a result of the depression, too. Because depression always made me lonely and just want to fit in a little so I wouldn't be so lonely.

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