It doesn’t take a theologian to see that the world as we know it is changing. Some argue that the rate of change has never been faster, and there’s no sign of slowing down. Not all change is bad! But all change is not good, either.
Think about how technology has changed in your lifetime. I’ve seen a humorous video clip on the Internet of teenagers unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to use a rotary telephone. Because of the spectacular advances in technology, crop yields today would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago. Diseases that were incurable are now much more routine and survivable. We like those kinds of changes.
But other change is more difficult to swallow. Retail shopping in town is undeniably different today than in yesteryear. Sears, K-Mart, and JC Penny are just three of the notable examples. Due to falling ad revenues and other factors, the Mitchell Daily Republic just announced that they would stop printing a Monday paper; Monday news will be online only. And on and on.
Highlighting the technological and economic changes in our world is easy. But those changes are just the tip of the ice-burg. We are standing far downstream a full, raging river of moral, theological, and social change. We “know” that as much as we “sense” it. Churches are no longer the social center of our culture. Increasingly, our young adults grow up and leave their churches as they leave their homes. Even among churchgoers, Biblical literacy almost could not be any lower. [Read more…]