Thursday, June 17, 2010

context is everything

Ted has some fascinating presentations and it is always a worthwhile way for me to spend some time and get my imagination piqued. Yesterday I had a few minutes and listened to this talk by David Byrne. I've been a big fan of Talking Heads since their early days and thought it would be a fun listen. It was.

It got me thinking... if architecture influences music as profoundly as David Byrne thinks, does it also influence theology? And as with music, which direction does causation flow? Or does it flow both ways? Some years back an architect told me that a church should either completely remodel or move every 40 years because their building no longer fits their theology or ministry. I think that is true... but how much does the building shape both theology and ministry? And is it more than just impeding you from doing what you want? Does it also contribute in a positive or at least neutral way? What do you think?

1 comment:

Michael Mahoney said...

I would say that theology shapes architecture more than the other way around. From the time of ancient temples to medieval churches to modern worship centers.

Architecture, however, shapes ministry. Churches can be limited by their building, or can thrive in it. How much space they have, or how it is laid out impacts what kind of ministry choices a congregation makes. When their theology pushes those ministries to the limits, the architecture must change to accommodate or the ministry suffers.