Episode 9 - Building Babel

We live in tension. We wake up and breathe the air tension every day and the question most of us will ask is, “what do we do in the tension?” Can we fix it? Make it better? Resolve it? These are questions we’ve been asking for all of human history. Questions that have driven our most significant culture projects. Our institutions, governments, and inventions begins with the recognition that, “all is not right” in the world but while at the same time innately believing that it can be better. We see a problem and build, dream, and experiment to solve it believing that tension can be resolved, that the world can be better.

This is a good and right response to the evil we see in the world. We are image bearers, made in the likeness of a Creator who has a habit of bringing light and life to wild wastes. It is natural for us to look at destruction and want to fix it, especially when we are responsible in the first place. It’s good to intervene in crisis and seek restoration, right to change our habits and decrease our ecological footprint and honorable to get dirty cleaning shorelines damaged by oil spills. These things are good, just, and right––natural expressions of the Imago Dei. 

What happens though, when we overestimate our ability to fix the problem?


  • Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger
  • Mark Sayers, Strange Days
  • Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church
  • Andy Crouch, Culture Making
  • C.H. Wright, The Mission of God
  • Thomas Hobbes, Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan
  • Richard Plunz,, A History of Housing in New York City
  • Jacob Riss ed. by David Leviatin, How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York.