I think it's only fair to begin by disclosing my assumptions--at least one pretty big assumption--that not everyone will agree with. I'm coming into a conversation that's been going on for quite a while, and there are some things I don't want to get bogged down with as I continue to write.
Primarily, I recognize that there is a lot of disagreement out there about the approach to absolute truth. Maybe a better way to say this is that the majority of people have decided that the main problem with younger generations is their presumed disbelief in absolute truth. The way the conversation is going, it seems like that is where everyone is spending all of their time. It's almost as if they believe that the rational assent to absolute truth, as it is currently defined by our rational western culture, is necessary for belie. So, when speaking to the younger generation or telling others how to do so, the bulk of energy appears to be going to the argument about absolute truth.
But I think that we're missing the point--for several reasons. First, I'm not sure that we have identified the right issue. A great hew and cry was raised after Neitche's "God is dead." And logically, true postmodernism probably does deny that absolute truth is possible. But I'm not sure that's where the people on the ground really are. In my experience, people allow for the reality of truth--even absolute truth--they just aren't sure that they have it figured out. And they view the claim that you do know what absolute truth is as the worst kind of arrogance. So I wonder whether we all aren't closer together than we think, but we're getting stuck on the different language we use.
Second, and probably more important for our future discussions, culture exists. It is. Every one of them has ways that they reflect God's values and character more than others. Similarly, every one of them has ways that they violate the essential character and values of God. But I'm not sure that fighting culture is the answer. I don't actually think you can win. Culture goes to the very core of our beings and forms the basis for our assumptions.
But culture can be redeemed as the people within it are redeemed and restored to the image of God.
So that's where I'm headed in this conversation. I have accepted that this culture--the one we're in right now--exists for this time and place. And we're just going to have to live and walk with God within it. As we are redeemed and restored i his image, we can pray that he will do the same with our culture through us.
There are lots of forums where we can talk about how the world has changed and why reason is superior to experience and all those other things. But we live in a world where experience is more important than reason, where life is more about what you do that what you say you believe. My burning passion is to figure out how to speak about God in this context, how to walk with God in a meaningful way, and how to walk with others on their spiritual journeys here and now. Today.
I hope you'll consider walking with me for a while.