Saturday, February 18, 2023

Better Is One Experience Than a Thousand Theories

Image result for john piippo rockford
(Art Arfons and his "Green Monster")

When I was a teen, my father took me to watch fast cars race a quarter mile at the Rockford Dragway. The steward of the dragway was a friend of dad. We were given pit passes to see the cars and drivers up close. 

That night was special. A drag racer named Art Arfons was there, with his famous “Green Monster.” This vehicle was a jet engine fastened to the frame of a car. As we entered the pit we were handed ear plugs. The Green Monster held the world land speed record of 576 mph. It went from 0-60 in three seconds. It was loud! At the time, my mode of transportation was a red Nash Rambler. It accelerated from 0-60 in three minutes. It, too, was loud, but for different reasons. 

That was an exciting night! It was made even better when dad’s friend showed me his car. It was a 1963 Ford Shelby Cobra. Just the name “Cobra” exudes danger, in a way “Rambler” does not. I have an image of my Rambler sauntering, strolling, and meandering down the quarter mile strip on its way to a picnic. 

The Cobra went 0-60 in five seconds. Dad’s friend looked at me and asked, “Would you like to ride with me to open up the evening?” Yes (power!). And no (danger!).

I said yes.

I sat in the passenger’s seat, and went for the fastest quarter mile I had ever experienced. What teenaged boy didn’t like fast cars? That night I grew in knowledge of power and speed. I had seen magazines and television shows on drag racing. I loved looking at cool cars. But all the reading in the world did not compare with experiencing the Shelby Cobra for myself. 

In this book I am arguing that churches must be presence-driven, because experience gives knowledge that theory cannot. Better is one quarter mile raced, than a thousand automotive theories read. 

It is the same with God.

- From John Piippo, Leading the Presence-Driven ChurchKindle Locations 132-147