Individual units of large organizations and higher headquarters always misunderstand each other. Front line personnel feel like their leaders are detached and sometimes incompetent, while higher level leaders have pressures that small unit personnel do not understand. How do we bring them together?
In Iraq in late 2003 a draft recommendation came to the Task Force 1st Armored Division Headquarters from our higher headquarters, the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters. It referenced tuberculosis in Iraq and proposed aggressive use of preventive measures against the disease, citing huge numbers of new cases per year. As the Task Force Preventive Medicine Officer and Deputy Division Surgeon, I was responsible to review all public health and other medical recommendations coming from outside. The math didn’t seem right and I went to the World Health Organization website to check the incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis in Iraq. Suddenly I realized that whoever had made the recommendation had badly overestimated the incidence of new tuberculosis cases. To our medical team it was just another example of trouble from our higher headquarters.
Continue reading “The Dance of the Headquarters”
The 20th century was one of superlatives, both good and bad. The invention of the airplane, the landing on the moon and the advances in medicine, communication, and in almost every field of science were breathtaking. People today live longer, healthier and more productive and secure lives than ever before. Unfortunately, the utter devastation of modern warfare, the oppression and murder of millions, and the falling away of whole cultures from the truths of God are also breathtaking. People live under the constant shadow of mass destruction and a lonely, materialistic worldview that drains the humanity out of man.
The Church, that rock of God’s making in the midst of the tumultuous sea of human life, has been greatly impacted by the cataclysms of the 20th century. The end of colonialism, the civil rights movements, liberal education and theology, new technologies, increased exposure to other cultures, and a host of other factors have changed the church in sometimes obvious and sometimes barely perceptible ways. Nothing, however, has changed it like the Great War, 1914-1945. Though many divide this into two different conflicts, World War 1 (1914-1918) and World War 2 (1939-1945), in many ways they were simply Acts 1 and 2 of a great drama, the decline of European (and Western) civilization.
Continue reading “What political developments of the 20th century had the greatest impact on the church?”