Almost understanding the call of Jesus
A Book Review by Bob Highlands III
David Kinnaman sets out to show why the younger generations have rejected the values of their parents. He speaks in terms of mosaic and buster generations turning away from the values of their boomer parents and silent generation grandparents. His goal to make the older generation more sensitive gives away his own placement among the buster generation. Now, before I fail to offer full disclosure I am a baby boomer with strong biblical values.
I give the book two thums up and two thumbs down.
Thumbs up ONE: Kinnaman does help to explain the reason this generations acts and thinks as they do. Understanding the reason will help anyone who wants to reach them with the truth of Christ and the Gospel of peace. You don’t have to agree with his application but his research does shed light on the divide that is only getting bigger.
Thumbs up TWO: Understanding how these younger generations perceive their parents and grandparents also allows them to see that there are two sides of the coin. Their rejection of absolute values is absolute. They see a world not of black and white or even of shades of gray. Their world is always changing with flowing values. They reject what they see as judgmental values while judging anyone who holds them as out of touch.
Thumbs down ONE: The more he tried to make excuses for the current generations rejection of biblical values the more I want to shout that line from the diet commercial from long ago; ENOUGH!!!!!!! The rejection of values may have a thousand different reasons but the results are always the same. Sensitivity training of the generations will not remove the stink of sin. If everyone in the world loses their way it is better to stand as the last prophet of truth than to gather around with the prophets of popular culture and cheer.
Thumbs down TWO: His approach that the attitudes of the past are unChristian and only by changing attitudes and the way we accept each other can we truly be Christians again comes up short in solving the problem. Somehow he lost his way and has confused loving the individual as Jesus would with the current environment of accepting the sin as part of mainstream life. His answers always seem to imply or directly state that the old ways will not work. It is not the “slipping reputation of Christianity in our culture” that is the problem. page 205 It is, in my opinion, the abandonment of the whole truth and the message of this gospel of peace rooted in the grace of Christ that leaves us all coming up short.
Allow me to put this into perspective. Jesus was teaching when the religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. John 8.1-11 The judgmental attitude of the religious leaders is much like what Kinnaman sees as the judgmental older unchristian generations and the church at large. They are able to site the law and point out sin without compassion. He sees the need and the example for compassion, understanding and acceptance when Jesus turns away the religious leaders to save the woman who was about to be stoned to death. Here is where I see Kinnaman coming up short and which ate away at me throughout the book. Jesus does not tolerate the lives of religious leaders without love and compassion. Jesus also does not tolerate the sinful life of the woman. He sends her away with the words “Go. From now on sin no more.”
When I finished reading this book I felt it pointed out the problem of uncompassionate believers and their failure to rescue the perishing. I also felt the answer of understanding, compassion and acceptance without moving toward changed lives comes up well short. I finished the book feeling empty wishing Kinnaman had discovered the third part. The part where we all follow the directions Jesus gave the woman...“go and sin no more.”
I recommend this book. not because I enjoyed it, but because it will cause anyone who reads it to consider how much more we can and must do to reach these lost generations.
© 2017 Bob Highlands III