In his excellent book, Emerging Hope, Jimmy Long reminds us that the young generations in America represent a shift from Enlightenment modernism to postmodernism.
In Long’s view (and mine), this is a change of titanic proportions.
It means, among other things, that “Those who think that in due time [young people] will ‘grow up’ and look like everyone else should prepare to have unfulfilled expectations.” (UnChristian, p22)
I believe those of us 45 and older can slip into denial quite easily about the identity of the new generation. We think they’re pretty much like us—aside from the tattoos and iPads.
Perhaps we’d rather not think that the arduous sweat equity that went into establishing the evangelical flag the past 50 years will be wasted on our children and grandchildren.
All that hard work! It can give us a sense of entitlement. It can blind us to the changing realities of a new day, a new audience, a new calling.
I believe the new calling is to bridge the gap between old and young, modern and postmodern, traditional and contemporary. Thing is, we have to realize that THIS particular gap is not traversed by walking across the room. More like flying to another planet.
I invite your comments.