Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Constantine's Second Reformation

Bob Buford of Leadership Network sent an e-mail newsletter to his ACTIVEenergy.net list dated today, Tuesday, December 06, 2005. In the subject line it said, "My Dinner with Jim Collins..." What he says is absolutely astounding, especially when the reader recognizes that Buford is connected intricately with, and even somewhat responsible for, the development of both Rick Warren and the Emergent Church.

"Peter Drucker will have many successors and no successor. It's that way with the seminal, original thinkers. Think of Shakespeare, Beethoven, Lincoln, Churchill, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. God made only one copy. People ask: 'What will I do now that Peter has gone on to his reward?' Well, first of all, there is Peter's legacy of timeless writing.

"And, then, I personally would start with Jim Collins. Nobody can replace Peter, but his inspiration is apparent in Collins, whose 2.5 million selling Good to Great has been called the 'business book of the decade.' He, like Peter, is an original.

"What is Collins thinking about these days? I had a special opportunity to find out when Linda and I had dinner with him in Dallas a month ago. Wow! What a brilliant mind and what a noble heart. . . ."

Bob Buford then describes a monograph that Jim Collins has written on applying business methods and philosophies to non-profit organizations. A description of the monograph reveals that Collins is seeking terminologies to justify running non-profit organizations in Peter Drucker's business model.

Buford then switches gears, and writes, "I will ask you to ponder a very profound question that Collins posed for me. How would you have answered?:

"Collins began with a parable that went something like this: 'If I came to you today and said there was a man wandering around in the Middle East with fifty followers. In 300 years, his religion would be the formal religion of the United States. What did they do to connect the dots? Put aside that it had to happen because it was true. How did it happen?'

"In our phone conversation this past Saturday, Collins clarified what I had expected all along. He was talking about Jesus Christ and the 300 year period between His crucifixion and the time when Constantine made Christianity the established religion of the Roman Empire. Collins said, 'People say I am constructed for curiosity. No one has ever solved this one for me. What were the social mechanisms and organizational tools that allowed this statistically remote outcome to happen? What took place in the 300 years between Christ and Constantine?'"

Bob Buford is soliciting answers to this question which he will collect and send on to Collins, and "feature in a future ACTIVEenergy newsletter." He prods, "Here's your chance to influence an influencer - a genuine seeker after truth."

Buford then asks, "What is God Doing Now?" His answer, in the context of the above question by Jim Collins, is especially troubling:

"He's using disciplined management practice as a tool for accomplishing His purposes in churches (especially large-scale ones) and other social sector organizations like The Salvation Army." [emphases added] [http://tinyurl.com/an6we]

The Truth:

If the Herescope reader didn't read yesterday's post, be sure to catch the Spurgeon quote. It is perfectly applicable to today's Herescope post.

Herescope has some questions of its own, pertaining to this brazen endorsement of Constantine's empire:

1. Will "disiplined management practices" accelerate this process from Christ to Constantine?

2. Are these men saying that we can justify using our 21st century tools and techniques to bring about a state-sponsored/state-run church in 30 years, not 300?

3. Is this a confirmation that Peter Drucker's 3-legged stool (Corporate-State-Church, discussed in previous Herescope posts) is really a return to a Holy Roman Empire?

4. And are these men saying that this is BETTER?!

4. Is this what is meant by Rick Warren's call for a "Second Reformation"?

5. Are these men claiming that these management tools are "what God is doing now"?

"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." (Psalm 127: 1-2)