Books Are Cool Again

Once upon a time people bought books in bookstores. I should know. My family owned a Christian bookstore chain. It was an idyllic, almost magical time when independent stores like ours and large bookstore chains like B. Dalton Bookseller, Walden, Borders, and Family Christian Stores—plus thousands of independent bookstores—dotted the landscape. Almost every town of any size had at least one. 

Today all those bookstore chains are gone, and the number of independent stores, both general and Christian, has shrunk dramatically. I could list many reasons, but there are just two that matter: the rise of Amazon and the appearance of e-books. Physical bookstores, even those owned by big corporations, just can’t compete with the selection, prices, and convenience of Amazon. And what can possibly match the instant delivery of a book to a device you’re holding in your hand?

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Advice to Boomers: Think Like a Millennial

I had a conversation with my neighbor that got me thinking about the nature of work these days. My neighbor retired from his career as a radiology oncologist last year. He was just 62. As he has reminded me over the years, “I’m the doctor you don’t want to see.”

He certainly helped a lot of people extend their lives, but he also saw a lot of death. “All of those cases accumulate and finally they get to you,” he told me. Besides, he observed, if you do just one thing all your life, there finally comes a time when you say, “I don’t want to do that any more.” So he retired.

I suspect a lot of people in my Boomer generation are in this place right now. Those who can afford to retire have done so or are strongly thinking about it. Those who aren’t there financially wish they could be. I feel for those who are ready to retire but have no choice but to keep their nose to the grindstone. I have no words of wisdom for them.

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Church Is Useless

“Church is useless.”

I might have expected such a comment from my 24-year-old nephew who insists that living with his parents in the room he’s occupied since birth, whose passion is playing FPS (First Person Shooter) games and whose sole means of gainful employment is a part-time job at a local restaurant. But my nephew, as far as I know, has never said that. Though he was “raised in the church,” he doesn’t attend with any regularity. But as far as I know, he’s never said the church is useless.

Instead, the quote came from a 28-year-old—let’s call him Michael—who has a really good job, is married to a very successful marketing executive and who has nothing in common with my nephew except that he was also raised in the church.

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Is the Church too focused on the youth?

As much as modern day philosophers may try to dispel postmodernism as a rational and coherent worldview, postmodernism has yet to pass from the realm of cultural acceptance.  Perhaps the greatest evidence for postmodernism as a socially acceptable philosophy in America can be identified through purveying our religious landscape.  Some may define America’s general religious beliefs as being “Pluralistic”, but sociologist Christian Smith interprets this phenomenon as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism”.( Smith, Soul Searching, 162)  The aim here is to provide analysis for the church regarding this religious perspective which is so pervasive in our culture, and offer some ways to combat it.

Author’s Christian Smith and Barna Group President David Kinnaman, have written and done extensive research on the religious views of today’s youth.  Smith’s book Soul Searching, launched in 2005, targeted the Millennial’s (ages 13-17), also known as Generation Y.  Two years later Kinnaman’s book UnChristian was released.  His research covered those, who in 2007, were between the ages of 16-29, whom he refers to as “Mosaics and Busters”. (Kinnaman, UnChristian, 18)

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An Attitude of Worship

[My Response to Spirituality vs. Religion] - Most young adults today don’t pray, don’t worship and don’t read the Bible (1). USA Today posted an article on a study LifeWay did reporting 72% of Millennials (ages 18-29) are more ’spiritual than religious.’ I find this rather fascinating and deeply disturbing. Why? Because I think we’re missing the point.

Our attitude of worship.

“The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice.” Psalm 97:1 NLT

If you had the best boss, partner, authority figure, or president in the world. Would you brag about him or her? Yes. 100% yes. All in favor? Yes! Why? Because we were created with heaven in mind. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that God is worth it. All my worship. And then some.

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