Abductive Columns

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Locked in the Prison of Our Own Worldview and Having Grown to Love It

Our institutions and churches seem to be like the Titanic: heading blindly for the iceberg of the digital world, certain they can withstand the blow. So instead of thinking deeply about what kind of changes will help them move forward, many churches stay busily engaged in treating symptoms of low commitment, declining membership, or high churn—adding cutting-edge sound systems, revising their mission statements, getting politically active—without dealing with the deeper realities of a changing cultural terrain.

A similar lack of understanding is reflected in our nation’s struggles to defend against threats of terror. If you look through the frame of the Millennium Matrix, you will see the inertia of gigantic bureaucracies—entities rooted in linear thinking—compared to the agility of a loosely structured but highly aligned terrorist network empowered by digital communications. Not long ago I had a conversation with a division manager for a large defense contractor. His division specifically deals with this new form of war—called asymmetrical threats, of which 9-11 attacks are a perfect example. Such acts, he said, have an impact far greater than the amount of effort required to carry them out. The men who hijacked the planes used to destroy the World Trade Center buildings used fairly unsophisticated means that resulted in tremendous physical, mental, and emotional damage; a seemingly unending ripple effect of change.

Any organization confronted by similar asymmetrical challenges must face the great challenge of unlearning, dismantling, divesting, releasing, and moving forward. It’s a difficult demand, especially for those who are locked into the prison of their own worldview and grown to love it. Moving from captivity to freedom can be a confusing and disorienting road to travel, but the time has come to begin the journey.
from the Millennium Matrix by Rex Miller


At 8:42 AM, Blogger mrexmiller said...


We have a front row seat watching two oceans of thought collide in America. When you consider the Pandora’s Box that digital technology has opened igniting a global reaction to the dissolution of political, geographic, economic, ethnic, religious...boundaries and traditional boundaries of every sort the fireworks are just beginning. The church needs to recalibrate it's priorities (fast) of mission and begin grappling with the implications of these new conflicts. Our pre-occupation with worship wars, self-help best selling books and celebrity driven conferences seems embarrassing in comparison.

I’ve posted on my blog a section that your readers may find interesting. I had to cut it from the book because of space restrictions. For those who know anything about Cape Horn – it provides a descriptive and eerie comparison of those waters and our current waters of change.



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