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The Iceberg Effect

BL-Pencil-Cutout-Transparent-960x470-txtMarch 2014

 This year, the theme of Strategic Christian Service’s annual Transforum conference deals with what I call the “Iceberg Effect.” The Iceberg Effect is the common mistake of misreading or misperceiving the true dimensions of a problem or action because, like an iceberg, we see only about one-eighth of its true size or potential effect. Virtually all of us have had this experience: “Wow, I had no idea this action or idea could produce anything like this!” Yes, indeed.


Our current social-economic world is filled with the Iceberg Effect. We are living in one misperception after another because the unseen effects of the seven-eighths of the real problem is yet to be experienced.

We can see this in the following areas:
—The nation debt problem
— The gridlock effect in our political system in terms of its long-term effects of confidence in the system itself
— The effects of the dumbing down of our citizenry in multiple areas
— The spiritual effects on the culture due to much of the church’s social irrelevancies
— “Political correctness” on freedom of thought and true problem-solving capacities
— The emerging realities of the true condition of African Americans under slavery
— The consequences of the increasing shattering of the institution of the family unit
— The consequences of mismanaged male leadership in the home under the general theme of patriarchy
— The effects of “sexual freedom” in multiple dimensions of both personal and social realities.

How many more of the obvious issues should I enumerate? When we look at lists like this, it is easy to internally withdraw into total cynicism, the “escape and build a fort” mindset, or evade it altogether by hoping that somehow we will escape from these “exaggerated” problems. So where is the hope?

The hope is supposed to be in God, in truth, in each other, and most importantly, in each of us in our own commitment to care enough and love enough to engage these issues with personal preparations and available truth. I have said publicly in my lectures for years two things: “Whoever controls language controls the culture,” and “The culture belongs to those who are preparing for it.” I guess now we will see, and that is… THE BOTTOM LINE.