Young, Restless, and Culturally Arrogant? (Part 1)

Edited by Dave, circa 2011-??Some younger Christians poke fun of the traditions and habits of older Christians and churches.  They say that the older Christians/churches are totally out of touch with society and therefore are neither “missional” nor “relevant” (to use evangelical buzzwords).  I appreciate how Andrew Byers discusses this.  Since this quote is a bit long I’ve put it into two back-to-back posts.  Here’s part one.

“Disappointment in the cultural irrelevance of the church is justifiable.  But much of the disappointment may stem as much from a culturally conditioned arrogance as from a sincere commitment to missional, crosscultural living.  When we younger adults rail against the Christian subculture of primarily older generations for their narrow-minded cultural illiteracy, we often fail to notice that we are ourselves part of a subculture with its own narrowness and cultural ignorance.  We seem to suppose that anyone who can’t quote lines from ‘The Office’ or lyrics from Wilco is out of touch.”

“But maybe Aunt Gertrude [i.e. older Christians] is not so out of touch.  To be out of touch with that particular slice of society to whom Michael Scott’s awkward antics on ‘The Office’ have such appeal is not to be out of touch with everyone.  There are other slices of American culture made up of folks who have never heard Arcade Fire playing on a coffee bar’s satellite radio station while sipping a latte.”

“It is important for those of us in the younger generations to step far enough back from our own cultural milieu to observe that the marketing power directed our way is staggering and quite disproportionate to the size of our subculture. …Is it possible that all this attention from Hollywood, Apple, the music industry and online networking companies has spoiled us to the point that we have now become rather high maintenance, demanding lavish catering from the wider church?  (If I can download multiple apps to my smartphone, then why can’t the local church give me what I want?)

Andrew Byers, Faith Without Illusions, p. 108-9.

shane lems

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