One of my favorite bloggers wrote a great post last week that got me thinking. He’s a guy about my age, a seminary prof, writer, past editor of one of the most famous Christian publications of our generation, thinker, churchman, and representative of the very best of the conservative side of doctrine and practice.
He never fails to challenge me. Last week he wrote about changes in evangelicalism over the course of his lifetime. He wrote as someone steeped in conservative church culture and tradition…much like me. Many of the changes he has observed are some of the very things I have seen. It definitely resonated with me…and got me thinking, over the past week, of all the changes I have seen and experienced in the past 40+ years of my adult life.
So much so that I’ve started listing them and writing about them. To help me see where I’ve come from and get a better grip on where I’m going. Changes in church life. Changes in what I believe. Changes in culture. Changes in youth ministry.
Some of those changes are for the better. Some are definitely for the worse. But all of them have led me to where I am today and shaped me for facing tomorrow and beyond.
So I’m going to take the next few weeks and write here about those changes. Some of them took place years ago. Some much more recently. Some change is still happening as I move along. The topics may appear random. I don’t have an outline to follow.
It won’t be neat. Sometimes it won’t be pretty. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking some risks by making some of this part of my personal journey public. But, hey. There’s a certain privilege that comes with turning sixty. So get ready to cut me some slack. Okay?
Maybe at the core of this is a determination to live out a desire I had when I was 18 or 19 years old. I’ve written about it before. Back when I was that age, I heard a guy speak who was in his late 60’s at the time, and I was blown away by how fresh his thinking was…how open to new ideas he was…how humble he was with the handling of Scripture…and how lovingly he embraced the changes in society and the church that were happening in the 1970’s.
I remember praying that God would lead me to be a man like that when I reached that age.
Well, I’ve reached that age. Whether I turn out to be a man of that quality and courage in the next decade remains to be seen.