Thursday, June 15, 2006
The Gospel in a Flat World
When you think about it, the Gospel is very resilient. It has survived a Roman World, a Greek World, a Dark Age, a Renaissance World, an Enlightened World, an Industrial World, a Technological World, and an Informational World. And each of those time periods influenced how the Story was told. It's why early Christians would have never used a cross as jewelry, but we do today. It's why the fish symbol was one of survival and not a bumper sticker. It's why cathedrals were built then and today we can just get by with meeting in a school or warehouse. It's why the Story was told in elaborate paintings on ceilings and walls versus a few pages in a mustard-colored booklet. The Gospel was meant to be understood. Which brings the question: How will it be told in a Flat World? Teachers of revival movements always point to certain external characteristics of past spiritual awakenings. Things like empty bars and saloons, full church buildings and non-stop prayer meetings, a reduction of crime and mass public repentance. But most of these revival meetings like the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings happened in a pre-technological, pre-informational, modern era. The world has changed significantly since the last Great Awakening, and I believe the Awakening of the future will look just as different.