Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are we dinosaurs? church and mission today

A few weeks ago I was asked to speak to the South Australian Heads of Churches. My topic: Are we dinosaurs? A brave question for a group to ask itself.

A bit of research and I discovered that the first dinosaur bone “appeared” in 1787, an enormous thigh bone poking out of a New Jersey Creek. It was sent to leading American scientist, Dr Caspar Wistar, who paid it little attention. It was stored and eventually, got lost. (For more on the “finding of dinosaurs”, see Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

It’s weird thinking about dinosaur bones always being there, yet only somewhat recently, to have been “discovered”! Which then got me thinking about what “bones” might church’s, and church leaders, we leaving? And what might people make of our “bones” if they stumbled across our remains in the future?

Like the communion table. Hey, how weird, a table with no chairs. Hmmm. Looks like a separate type of species called eucharistosaurus.

Or the baptismal font. How wierd is that, some people used to keep a bird bath inside! Did that have “bird” doors? Or was it some wealthy playpen, in which the entire building is simply a birdcage, walls and roof in which the doves (Biblical reference intended) are encased!

On a more serious note, as part of my talk I offered a survey of some of the responses to being labelled “dinosaurs. (more…)

Posted by steve at 04:48 PM