In his book “Antifragile” (of which I have not yet read all), Taleb discusses three categories of things:
- Those that are fragile, or rigid, or fixed;
- Those that are resilient, or enduring over time;
- Those that are antifragile, or can actually use chaos or destruction to grow.
Things that are fragile will shatter when faced with destruction.
Houses are burnt down by fires, swept away by floods, shattered by gale-force winds.
Things that are resilient are built to endure these disasters – earthquake proof homes, fire proof doors, flood proof well-drained areas.
Things that are antifragile use destruction as a fuel – forests grow back quickly after fires, with ash as fertilizer; etc.
Churches can be in the same categories.
Some are rigid, fixed, fragile – they can easily be destroyed in persecution.
Others are resilient, and have the resources to endure the winds of change and persecution.
Still others are anti fragile, and draw new followers in the midst of persecution.
What is most interesting to me is this: in anecdotal testimony, fragile churches are often great persecutors of antifragile movements.
They ask, “who gave you the right to start a church?” It may be that when something is fragile, everything is viewed as a threat (and this is a sign of fragility).