Monday, May 19, 2008

What people under 30 think

On many of the boards I'm on there is a constant fear that any sort of critique of the church would lead people away. Barna research did a survey of the attitude of young people 20-30 towards Christianity. Their complaints were not about failure to address problems or honestly confront difficulties rather what they were upset about was essentially the "meanness", in particular:
* antihomosexual 91%
* judgmental 87%
* hypocritical 85%
* old-fashioned 78%
* too political 75%
* out of touch with reality 72%
* insensitive to others 70%
* boring 68%
(from unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters, By David Kinnaman)
This is precisely the issue the emerging church is trying to address. While in a later post I intend make a more serious philosophical defense of postmodern theology, I think critiques of the emerging church on moral grounds that fails to take into account this reality are off base. I think its high time those that attack the emerging church be asked the simple question of what is their counter strategy to address this reality. Or to ask the question I asked in goth music:
Moreover I've even seen gospel outreach towards goths be attacked. For example Karen Ward (abbess of apostle's church in Seattle, leader / one of the founders of the emerging church movement) runs a very successful outreach to goth teens / 20-somethings called the Santorum Mass which is essentially a 16th century high episcopal mass done very traditional, very high church style. The kids love it, and it consistently draws huge crowds of people that would otherwise not go to church. I would consider this to be successful evangelism. Yet this has been specifically cited as an example of the "engage but don't critique flaw" of the emerging church. I suspect most readers would agree with the "successful evangelism" position. And if so then the fact that the goth movement is spontaneously creating fantastical scores for prayers and hymns should be something to be applauded.


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Anonymous said...

You have some good topics here this month, CD. I don't know why no one is posting.


CD-Host said...

Ellie --

Are you the Ellie from SGM or the one from CR? It's interesting because my readership has been doing pretty good (according to google analytics). With the exception of the Xenos threads I haven't really attracted back and forth dialogue.