Headlines from First Thoughts

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Where are we-- The Future of Baptists Part 1

Thomas Friedman, in his book The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, says we live between two contrasting views of society. Both of these perspectives are marked by dates on the calendar, 9/11 and 11/9.

Everyone knows where he was on 9/11. The memories are etched into our brains. The resulting affect on our world has created an environment of fear, intimidation, terrorism, mistrust and mismanagement.

What about 11/9/89? It was the day the Berlin Wall fell. This is the world of freedom and hope. Walls fall. Lives are reunited. Societies are reborn.

Unfortunately we cannot have the hope of 11/9 without the fear of 9/11. One gives birth to the other. As communism crumbles, old rivalries resurface.

Ironically, these two events are also the benchmarks for future generations of Baptists. The group commonly known as Generation X (my generation) is marked by the fall of The Wall. I was in Berlin two summers after the wall fell. I remember seeing sections of the wall still standing and purchasing a “rock” from a vendor.
Generation Y or “the millenials,” (the official name is still to be determined) is marked by 9/11. This is the generation that has primarily fought and died in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have volunteered as missionaries among the Taliban.

So...we're between 11/9 and 9/11 culturally. What's so different about these generations as it relates to church? See the next post.

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