Which Way Did He Go?
by Jason Wisdom
Like a lot of people who are artistically minded, there was a time when my relationship with art faced a crisis. I was tired of squeaky-clean, prepackaged, popular art (especially music and movies). My heart wanted something else, and I had to make a decision. As I see it, there are two general responses to this type of crisis. A few will choose to dig deeper into traditional art; to get involved in more advanced, cerebral, and intricate forms. They often discover that there is a whole subculture of amazing art being created. Often times this brings them back to a place where they can appreciate certain, well made, popular music once again. Other people abandon the idea of traditional art altogether and embrace some type of postmodern or anti-art. Some will become outspoken critics of traditional art. That does not mean that they give up being artistic. They simply approach art in a totally different way–with another set of rules (or none at all).
I believe that many young adults face a similar crisis in their spiritual lives. They get burned out on a super-polished, mega-church, youth group idea of Christianity. Others have the same reaction on the opposite side of the spectrum within a stale, lifeless, extremely
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fundamentalist version of Christianity. Only a few will endeavor to peel back the curtain and engage the richness of historical Christianity. Often times, this brings them back to a place where they can appreciate some of the good t even the stereotypical churches are doing. Others will abandon the idea of historical Christianity altogether in favor of some sort of pseudo or anti-Christianity. Some will become outspoken critics of historical Christianity. They will not give up being spiritual. They will simply approach God, Jesus, and the Bible in a completely different way–with another set of standards (or none at all).
I don’t think the solution is to try to make all of the stale churches more hip, or to make all of the plastic churches more organic. These are merely two manifestations of the same problem. The symptoms are different, but they have the same disease. The super-slick churches are doing an excellent job getting people in the doors and keeping them entertained. The museum churches are doing a great job keeping the faithful fundys happy. Both of these are commendable in their own right. But neither of them are telling people what they believe (doctrine) or why they believe it (apologetics)…