Here I am writing what is sure to be seen as a throw-away post. But it’s not (see especially item four below). I’m just too busy to write at length what I wanted to write right now, so let me just give a brief post highlighting things of interest to readers of A Christian Thing.
First, a plug for my recent post over at First Things. Ever open up the Psalms at random and find one perfectly fitted to your own experiences? How about the opposite: ever read a Psalm that is miles from where you are? Find out why that can be a good thing in my post “You Probably Think this Psalm is About You.” [Spoilers: It’s about the Church.]
Second, a welcome to our new blogger Not a Dinner Party. I can’t agree with everything she has to say in her initial post (full admission: I’m the only blogger on this site who currently belongs to a church body which restricts the pastoral office to men), but that’s how it goes when you hold a Thing—a discussion—of this sort. It’s vital that everyone get a chance to speak. For what it’s worth, I like what Churl had to say in response.
In her post, Not a Dinner Party drew our attention to the “Young Evangelicals are Getting High” article which recently caused a bit of a stir online. A few days ago, Rachel Held Evans referenced the “Getting High” post in an article of her own for CNN’s religion blog. Which brings me to this evening’s
Third topic of interest. Held’s article (“Why millenials are leaving the church”) has itself got people fired up. No summaries here (you can read it on your own), but I wanted to list a few important responses to it that are now up online.
For my money, the best of these comes from Mere Orthodoxy’s Jake Meador in a post that places Held’s ennui with Evangelicalism side by side the persecution of the Church throughout history. He reflects on Held’s insistence that “the Church must (and will) change along with millenials” before calling it “an astonishing display of vanity.” Reading his post, it’s hard to disagree. Nathan Gilmour over at The Christian Humanist brings up the contradictions at play in Held’s post (noting, for example, her contention that millenials want less politics in the church but then saying the church needs to be more attune to social political issues). Finally, The Washington Post features Brett McrCracken with a very good response focusing on the chronological snobbery at play here. A selection:
I also think that the answer is decidedly not to sit the Millennial down and have him or her dictate exactly what they think the church should be. But this is what Evans suggests. Her article ends with this proposed action step:
“I would encourage church leaders eager to win Millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community.”
How about the opposite? Millennials: why don’t we take our pastors, parents, and older Christian brothers and sisters out to coffee and listen to them? Perhaps instead of perpetuating our sense of entitlement and Twitter/blog/Instagram-fueled obsession with hearing ourselves speak, we could just shut up for a minute and listen to the wisdom of those who have gone before?
Interesting stuff. And now I come at last to the
Fourth item of business. I am finally going to respond to Churl’s posts about his growing attraction to Catholicism. Tune in here tomorrow morning for an article in which I make an unwelcome entry to the debate, talk about doctrine, and generally displease everybody.
Sorry about that.