Thursday, September 2, 2010

The New Counterculture #2

Many questions arise from the article I attempted to summarize in the last post.  Mainly: 1). What is counterculture?, 2.) What is the established/prevailing culture?, and 3.) Who exactly are the "young evangelicals?"

My personal opinion is that the answers to those questions are pretty subjective.

The main points I see in calling the "younger evangelicals" countercultural according to the article I read are:

  • The younger evangelicals have more of a social vision based on the person of Jesus Christ.  They are not trying to be opposite the popular culture or against the popular culture, but they seek to transform the culture through servanthood, instead of politics, which the older evangelicals seem to have focused on doing. 
  • Ultimately the issues of war and poverty and discrimination cannot be resolved through counterculture visions of the sixties.  Socialist values and sexual liberation are the consequences of that era and they haven't helped build community, personal freedom, and justice, but have actually thwarted such goals. 
  • The only way to resolve these issues is through a counterculture that lives out the values of God's Kingdom.  
  • The values of God's Kingdom run deeper than the "conservative" right.  Read the Sermon on the Mount.  Those ideals aren't exactly seen in the "conservative" mindset.  Apparently, younger evangelicals are seeking a different way than the older evangelicals.
  • The younger evangelicals see themselves as being redemptive and transformative in the culture, and to do so they must interact with the world, and they do, just not in the political sphere. 
  • For the younger evangelicals, mega-churches that wall themselves off from the world by creating a Christian culture which is not that opposite of the world by having churches with weight rooms, gyms, swimming pools, coffee shops, parks, and book stores, isn't really counterculture, but just creating more of the same with a different stamp on it (a fish or a cross).

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