Religion And Evangelism In The 21st Century#038;nbspBook Review

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Meet Gen Z Summary and Critique

Introduction

This review focuses on Whites Meet Gen Z, a book about the challenges of evangelizing Generation Z. This review first provides a summary of what the book accomplishes. Then it critiques the work in terms of consistency, text, and usefulness. A conclusion summarizes the situation with Gen Z and what the evangelist (and reader of the work) can do with what White has given them.

Summary

Whites (2017) Meet Gen Z consists of two parts: the first focuses on the reality facing the Christian Church today in a truly post-Christian world and the first generation of that world to come of ageGeneration Z. The second focuses on how the Church must respond to the needs of Gen Z. The first part is descriptive, laying out who Gen Z is, what Gen Z believes, what the background of this generations consists of, what defines them, and how they are different from any other generation that has come into existence in the past. The second part provides a solution by arguing for the Church to adopt a countercultural stance to the present post-Christian culture that has given Gen Z zero beliefs and that undermines whatever faith they might be given. It looks at how the Church must speak to a culture and people that sees faith as unimportant. It is mainly apologetic in its approach.

The book concludes with three Appendices that broach different topics. The first appendix looks at how a pastor can address a controversial topic such as gay marriage. The second looks at how to address the matter of the occult, which is of fascination for Gen Z; it gives particular focus to the mapping out of the spiritual world. The third and final appendix looks at how an apologetic bridge so to speak can be built between the Church and Gen Z using the tools that Gen Z uses, particularly science.

The book is basically a tool that can be used to help catechize and convert what is essentially a godless and unchurched generation that does not believe in the utility of Christian faith or belief. The author introduces the topic by making reference to famed Catholic historian Christopher Dawson who questioned a century ago the character of the modern state and the subordination of the Christian soul to that state. A century later and Dawsons seemingly prophetic words have been justified, as White points out: the modern soul of the 21st century is completely devoid of Christian sensibility, even if nominally he is a Christian. White calls the time now upon us the seventh age in which the very question of what it means to be human is no longer clear. There is no longer any religious affiliation among the nonesGen Z. The nonesthose without any religious affiliation were five percent of the population in 1930. Today they are 30 percent and their numbers are rising.

White goes on to assert that the evangelists of today must adapt to address this new generation because they old ways do not line up with the needs of this new generation. It is not just a matter of getting this new generation re-engaged with a latent faith. That faith is not latent. One must realize that one is preaching the Gospel to a generation that has never heard it. This people are heathens to say the least. One point in particular that summarizes the situation is taken from the film Gravity in which the character played by Sandra Bullock cries that she is about to die and that she wishes she could pray but that no one ever taught her how to pray. That is where Gen Z is at now: it is a generation that has not been taught the first thing about religion.

This is a generation that has to be engaged. Evangelists of today must accept their questions, answer them, engage with them wherever and whenever possible. This is a generation that believes in ghost but…made Gen Z particularly vulnerable to the temptations of the deviland once snared and devoid of faith as they are it raises many an obstacle for the evangelist of today.

What more can the evangelist do? White simply asserts that the evangelist has to engage this generation as though its questions would be in earnest. The problem is that Gen Z wants affirmation that its own sinful ways are fine. It does not want Christ, because Christ convicts the world of sin and demands selflessness. Gen Z is mired in selfishness.

These are topics that would have to be broached in a future work, as White simply does not have time or space to allocate all these issues to one book. The book of course would be much larger were he to do so. No page or concept is wasted in the book, but it is brief and that is both part of the books charm and part of its weakness. It identifies the problem, suggests that the evangelist must be aware of the problem, but is light on the details when it comes to the matter of making a difference or even a dent in the atheistic attitudes of Gen Z.

Conclusion

White does an excellent job of showing that the evangelist of today has his work cut out for him. He shows very well that Gen Z is unlike any other generation that has ever lived. Yet at the same time he does bring up the fact that people in the 12th century also faced problems. People then thought that God and his angels were sleeping as the world around them became chaotic. The book makes its point, but more points could be made. Perhaps it is up to the reader to pursue what to do next on his own. White does show at least one good way forwardprayer. If following Whites call to prayer does lead to answers, then perhaps Whites book is sufficient in laying the track that must be…

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