Have you ever mapped out your life? Just recently I was thinking about the Ideas that have stayed with me over the years. Some of these are from books, while others are from conversations. Though some ideas are difficult to separate from the experiences that carry them, these are not primarily experiences that have shaped me. That’s a different list. Nor is this a list of my favorite books. Another list. These are ideas that have stuck with me over time. Here are 14 of the most significant ones.
- 1982 Read Jorgen Moltmann’s Crucified God. Enter the redemptive struggle with the God who identifies with the victims of power. [If I remember correctly, this is the first occurence of the term “postmodern” in my reading. I would not hear the term again for almost ten years].
- 1987 While driving through Salvador in Bahia, Brasil, Pr. Walter Baptista, the father of my wife to be, Niza, tells me about two kinds of poverty: there is poverty and then there is misery.
- 1988/89 Read Megatrends by John Naisbitt. One of the trends he describe was a cultural move away from sports and towards the arts. I resonated so profoundly that it shaped my strategic thinking from then until today.
- 1989/90 Read an article by Walter Brueggeman in which he described the role of Pastor as one who is entrusted with the ministry of life transformation informed by the gospel. That pretty much shaped my thinking about the role of leadership within [and without] the church from then until today.
- 1990 Met Tom Wolf, Carold Davis and Viv Grigg from the Church on Brady at the Ontario airport. Carol blew me away when she said, The leaders of the future churches aren’t saved yet. I couldn’t have agreed more.
- 1990 A church staff is a peripatetic seminary -Tom Wolf
- 1990/91 Carol handed me a copy of Roland Allen’s the Spontaneous Expansion of the Church. This book was published in the 1920’s. But the ideas are from the future. The spirit —not the mission boards, clergy, budgets, education, buildings –drives the gospel forward.
- 1990/91 Turn to the Great Commission: Luke 4.18-19. –Viv Grigg
- 1991 Read The Other Path by Peruvian Economist, Hernando de Soto. It is not as well liked as The Magic of Capital, but it reinforced what I intuitively knew: the poor are industrious and entrepreneurial and can earn a living and even enliven an economy when not oppressed and exploited by cumbersome systems that favor the rich.
- 1991/92 George Hunter was a guest at the Church on Brady’s mission conference, Spare Not. He began his speech with the statement: “We are back in Apostolic times.” Erwin and I were standing together in the back of the building, and though we were startled by the thought that anyone might think we were not in apostolic times, we both knew it was hugely imortant when he said it.
- 1991/92 At the same conference, Tom began his speech with, “God is urbanizing the world.”
- 1991/1992 Read the Last of the Giants by George Otis. He identifies three Giants on the horizon that humanity must deal with: Materialistic Capitalism(?), Militant Hinduism and Militant Islam. [This book, Megatrends, and my own experiences in Europe in the early 80’s put the expansion of Islam on my mental map].
- 1992 Read Power Shift by Alvin Toffler. Everything is changing. Everything.
3 more ideas from before 1980:
- Star Trek: to boldly go where no man has gone before.
- My grandfather in El Salvador when I was 5 or 6 told me: “I want to live until the year 2000 because there will be dancing in the streets.” He did and he was right. I’ve been oriented towards the future ever since then.
- “That, my son, is the Savior of the World.” My grandmother’s words to me, as she pointed to a large statue of Jesus, at The Park of the Savior of the World in the City of the Holy Savior (San Salvador) in the country of the Savior (El Salvador). I was 5.
What are the Ideas that have stayed with you?
See you in the mystic…