This move marks the end of an era! I don't know about you, but I have very strong memories of Encyclopaedia sets when I was a kid. My mum and dad purchased a set of World Book Encyclopedias back in the 1980s for our family. It was such a huge investment for them that it took them years to pay it off (but I think paid off in terms of our education etc.). Britannica, having peaked at 120,000 copies back in 1990 only published a few thousand in 2010 and sales have been very slow. This is the end of an era alright!
Instead, millions of people are looking to online solutions. Many people subscribe to the online version of Britannica because of its perceived accuracy. However, the vast majority of people with access to internet, use free sites like Wikipedia for their Encyclopaedic knowledge. I don't want to get into a debate about the pros and cons, simply to state the trend.
Our world is changing at a rate of knots. The way we access and share information is changing all the time. This is an issue that the church (global) needs to keep grappling with. How far do we go? Can we do too much? Should we be rejecting some changes? Should we be coming up with a different approach?
These questions won't go away and I think that we are already engaging in the conversation quite well here at Hawera Baptist. What do you think? I'd love to have a conversation with you about it some day.
Blessings to all.
Pastor David Auty.