Wednesday, March 29, 2006

an assignment for the week

I've recommended Mars Hill Audio Journal to "life together" readers before. I love it! I'm sending the latest issue down to the church library for your listening pleasure. (Are the other Journals on the shelves yet? I'll have to go check!)

On the latest issue, these two terrific and thought-provoking articles are referenced as the authors are interviewed. . .

A Very Long Disengagement: This arcticle talks about the disengagement of college students and the demise of the liberal arts. Very relevant in our college town.

The Numbing of the American Mind: This article looks at the dizzying speed of our image-based culture and how it numbs us. Do you feel the numbness?

So what I'd like you to do is to spend 15 minutes reading them and responding to them. And in particular, I'd like you to tell me what they have to do with our 75th Anniversary Celebration. Ready. . . GO!


Joe Pollon said...

When I read these articles about the demise of civilization, I am usually skeptical. I think every generation goes through some version of this with regard to teens and young adults.

Adolescence is a developmental process that is typically self-centered and requires a rejection of authority and what is important to those in power (parents, teachers, etc.) I think a more valuable measure of societal trends would probably involve where the 30 & 40’somethings are in their engagement in learning, culture and politics.

Secondly, I would suspect you might get a very similar result in terms of percentages of all teens and young adults (and all adults for that matter) who were engaged and educated in times past (remembering that secondary and post-secondary education are relative new phenomena). Though it would be better if the entire population were engaged, it isn’t really necessary so long as enough quality leadership is being turned out. After all only fifty-six people signed the Declaration of Independence.

In my opinion, the important line in the article is part of the last. “It is cooperation in the prolonged immaturity of our students…” We, as parents and society, have encouraged our youth to remain immature and drag out adolescence as long as possible, often well into the late twenties, by making life too easy. We try to make our children’s lives better than ours by giving them the things we had to work for (homes, cars, education, etc…). In addition, we have eliminated all the rights-of-passage that required blood, sweat and tears. When they struggle, we are there to catch them or dig them out. We delay giving them responsibilities and then lament that they act like children.

The good thing is that usually adolescence does end. And when it does, the values and things we thought were important AND BOTHERED TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN BEFORE THEY WERE ADOLESCENTS very often re-emerge into the consciousness of our adult children. That is why we celebrate WITH OUR CHILDREN the anniversaries of family events, national events, religious events and the birth of Grace Church.

Steve Rein said...

Quick question ... does the library get the CD version or the tape version?

I wonder because I don't have a tape player anymore. (I don't have an 8-track or hi-fi "record player" either ... I'm even wondering whether my VCR is worth unplugging.)

In any case, I've let my subscription to Mars Hill lapse but every so often ...