The shape of the future church in Scotland?

We have just had an invite to this event;

AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WRITERS MICHAEL FROST & ALAN HIRSCH TO
CONSIDER THE SHAPING OF THE CHURCH IN SCOTLAND

10:00AM – 4:00PM

5TH DECEMBER INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE,
GLASGOW

7TH DECEMBER STEEPLE CHURCH, DUNDEE

11TH DECEMBER COMMUNITY CHURCH EDINBURGH

£25 INCLUDING LUNCH AND REFRESHMENTS

WEDNESDAY 12TH DECEMBER

COMMUNITY CHURCH EDINBURGH, 7.30 PM

A FREE EVENT, OPEN TO ALL, TO END THE TOUR

Almost ten years ago Australian authors Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch
published their hugely influential book The Shaping of Things to
Come. In it they offered both and analysis of the church of the West
and the culture in which it operates as well as a vision for what that
church might look like.

We are delighted to welcome Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch to Scotland
to offer a day of teaching, reflection and discussion about the future
shape of the church around the country. If you are passionate about
the church, its future and its role in society then this is a day for you …
come and join the conversation.

The all day events are £25, which regretfully might exclude some… I am still chewing on whether it will exclude me, which was something of a surprise- I have read various things by these blokes and the subject is right in the middle of my interests.

I think I am just a wee bit jaded of the constant picking over the bones of the Church. Let us just get on with being church. I also wonder slightly what we might learn about the Scottish Church from an Australian and a South African.

Having said that, the place of institutional faith and the degree to which it might be more ‘alive’ to the great commission is certainly worth chewing on.

Perhaps I will go after all.

Dictatorship of the air…

As a young lad I went through a period of reading H G Wells novels.

To be honest, I found them very dry and antiquated, but I was a voracious reader and had read my way through many of the other books on our library shelves.

One of the books I remember trying to read was Well’s ‘The Shape of Things To Come‘- written in 1933 and strangely prophetic-

It sketched out Well’s prediction of a future world war, which he felt was likely to lead to stalemate, and chaos- following which he envisaged the emergence of a benign dictatorship, policed worldwide- using air power to enforce peace.

A dictatorship of the air.

I remember that even to my 12-13 year old perception, this Utopian vision seemed strange and outdated. It was committed to an idea of human progress through scientific advancement- which to anyone growing up in an age of nuclear stalemate seemed rather bizarre.

I was reminded of Wells’ ‘Dictatorship of the air’ again whilst listening to the news of western Jets patrolling the sky over Libya.

Another intervention into an oil rich third world dictatorship- another humanitarian disaster filling our screens.

Another attempt to overcome through technology and science.

Have we learnt nothing from recent wars- in the Balkans and in the Middle East? Or does the illusion of clean, disengaged warfare carried out at distance persist in the minds of our politicians?

Obama was reluctant- he is already fully engaged in bloody interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it seems he has been persuaded by our shiny new PM David Cameron, and his French colleagues.

I hope I am wrong. I hope Gaddafi gives up and pitches his tent elsewhere.

But history is not on his side.

Wells got it badly wrong.