Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement

The sky is falling; the sky is falling! That how author Lauren Sandler sounds to me.

I saw a review of this book in the newspaper several months ago and immediately ordered it from the library. I had to wait until last week to get it; a lot of people are reading it.

I wonder if they read it like I did or did they read it with a sense of foreboding hysteria? That is how the book is written.

Here is what it’s about. It seems that something horrible is going on. Young people are becoming Christians; lots of them! They are living out their faith. They want to change the culture and the world. And they are doing it.

Second problem from Sandler’s perspective is that the 60’s left has already solved the world’s problems and now someone is messing with it. With urgency, they must mimic what Christian youth are doing and win back the generation.

Fat chance! The reality is that youth are sick of the legacy they have been left. They are sick of broken homes, drugs, illicit sex and empty lives. It reminds me of the Jesus Movement back in the 70’s. It was fueled by the 60’s generation. Again, we have a generation that wants liberation from liberation.

Aside from Sandler’s ongoing rant, the book was fascinating. It gave me great encouragement. I learned of some righteous things going on with the youth of today.

Here are some of the things she is so afraid of: Conversion, youth being transformed! She writes about Acquire the Fire and Teen Mania as dangerous and subversive movements.

Next is the Cornerstone Music Festival. It has been around since 1984 and draws tens of thousands each year. She acts like Woodstock was copyrighted and no one else should be able to do the same sort of thing, especially if they are Christians. A part of the festival is Rock for Life, a national grassroots network turning young people against abortion by using music as a connector. What freaks her out is that they don’t believe in birth control either – it’s terrifying that the hard won rights are being abandoned.

Next is Mars Hill Church which has it’s home in ultra liberal Seattle. It’s not fair! How could a church experience explosive growth in such a sacred place? By the thousands, the hip are coming and being transformed. And horrors of horrors, the wives are staying home and having lots of babies. They will take over by sheer numbers!

Then there is the outreach to the skateboarders. Churches set up and mission groups organized just to reach them. Again, it’s just not fair.

We have sons following in their fathers ministry footsteps. There are righteous rappers, home schooled kids subverting the culture and Christian colleges raising up future leaders. Evolution is being challenged at the university level – and making inroads. And most scary of all, there are nuts who believe that Jesus is going to come back and this world is going to end.

Awesome! There is hope for the future.

You would do well to read this book. It’s interesting to see how the Lord’s opponents view Christians and what the Church is accomplishing. Look for it at the library or buy a used copy. I wouldn’t recommend supporting the author through new sales.

Happily hopeful,

Philip

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