Monday, September 15, 2008

Younger Evangelicals - The World Watches and Waits

I originally entitled this piece "Younger Evangelicals Are Stupid." I don't really believe that. I just wrote it to get attention.

In fact I think that Younger Evangelicals are just as intelligent as Older Evangelicals, though that may not be saying a whole lot, as anti-intellectual as American Evangelicalism has been the last fifty years.

Truth be told I pity the generation of Evangelical Christians that have had to grow up in and have had to bear with so much of the nonsense of my generation of Baby Boomer Evangelical Christians.

Younger Evangelicals have rebelled against Baby Boomer Evangelicals and their antics. Younger Evangelicals are WAY more hip and TOTALLY more emotionally authentic.

Though I do not think that Younger Evangelicals are less intelligent, I do worry that they may be even less informed, as hard as that is to imagine. I am certain that they drink more Starbucks, and are WAY better at rattling off all the different kinds of lattes and such. I am sure they even own more iPhones.

Some Younger Evangelicals have rebelled into a more Biblically solid foundation than their Baby Boomer parent's Evangelicalism. For this I can only give thanks. Indeed, a shout out to RUF and many other such organizations that have made that possible.

All too many Younger Evangelicals have developed mere slicker versions of Baby Boomer Mega Churches. Yet, Others, seeing the shallowness of Baby Boomer Evangelicalism, and with a yearning for the transcendent, have run into the waiting arms of Emergent Church Gurus (such as have been mentioned in many recent political articles loving the attention as they tend to do). There Younger Evangelicals have come to reverence the old paths, well, minus the content thereof. One chuckles at the whole notion of "Emergent Church," as if there did not exist a church already. From what did this Emergent Church emerge? The hubris drips...

But into the waiting arms of Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones and Brian McClaren all too many of these Younger Evangelicals have run. There they have embraced a form of Biblical Christianity without its, well, content. Not having received a greater or deeper foundation from Baby Boomer Evangelicals, they really just don't know better.

And the big question of the day is whom will they vote for? They're undecided. The world awaits, breathless.


Doug Pagitt said...

man, that is one caustic attitude you have going there.
I am not sure it is wise to suggest that what people who are part of our church are "running into" is contentless faith.
You might not agree with me, but to suggest that the people here were duped, or are stupid, or are soft - well that is just poor manners if not flat out rude.

Joel said...

Dear Mr. Pagitt,

See normally about this time, having been called out for being rude, I would be beating myself to death, apologizing to the four corners of the earth, disavowing blogging forever, begging forgiveness, etc etc. If you knew me like folks here do you'd know that.

But, in this case, well, I'm not gunna.

Actually, I didn't say in this post that your corner of the Holy Emergent Church was contentless. I said it lacked the content of true Biblical Christianity. I'll stand with that.

Dude, you put yourself out in the public arena. You guys seem to like the attention. I am a nobody in comparison. But when you talk to reporters and get your name spread all over you've got to be able to face some heat.

And are you personally trolling the internet to find people talking about you or do you have staff that does that for you?

If you want to start an argument with me online then cool, that will really up my numbers.

See, I've watched enough of your You Tube stuff and read enough of your blog to believe that the young people who are running into your arms are running into the arms of a wolf, you know along the lines of Acts 20: 28ff. So, no, I am not cool with that.

I am sure those young people have IQ's as high as the rest of us. But I also believe that they are in fact profoundly uniformed. Maybe their hip post modern nothing-is-really-really-true worldview keeps them that way, more or less. I don't know.

But duped and soft? Well, sadly, yeah.

So this time I'm really not sorry.