In his book Border Crossings, Rodney Clapp says, “A noted Western philosopher, introduced to the world in 1926, was one day sitting on a log when he heard a buzzing sound. He was puzzled and fell to pondering. As his leading chronicler remembers the event, the philosopher reasoned along the following lines:

“‘If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you’re a bee.’

“Then he thought another long time, and said: ‘And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey.’

“And then he got up and said: ‘And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.”‘

“Now, even though this philosopher carries the strange title of Winnie the Pooh, and even though his work mostly is appreciated by children, this bit of reflection deserves our serious attention. After all, it resembles the way the American church is more and more thinking about God and discipleship.

“This incident shows Pooh to be a pragmatic individualist. He cannot imagine the bees possessing an existence and purpose apart from his own use and interest. The Pooh is the quintessential consumer, entirely practical and entirely self-centered: The only reason for being a bee is to make honey, and the ‘only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.’

“Thus reasoning, the Pooh has a range of other possibilities blocked from his vision. He cannot see, for instance, the wider ecological purpose of bees, how they weave into a fabric of flora and fauna not only by providing honey, but also by such crafts as pollinating flowers. Another thing Pooh cannot see is a theological purpose for bees: that in the wonder of their existence, they speak and spell the glory of a Creator God.” (Click here to learn more about the book Border Crossings.)

Share This On:

About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

Related Posts