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10 July 2011


Danielle Shroyer

Hey Adam- thanks for this post. Really great thoughts, and I have to say on just about all counts I completely agree with you. I'm adding that book to my reading list.

To add one other layer on this conversation, though, I think there is a reason we have such a penchant for the past. It's because in my estimation, more than any other time in recent history, our generation and the one right behind us isn't anchored by anything substantial. We have no clear event like a world war or depression that is centrally defining. All the problems we have- even the biggest ones- are fractured. Consequently I think we lack a unifying force, and so our psychological tendency is to reach for an anchor somewhere. I honestly think this is why so many people find ritual and liturgy comforting. I wonder if the same is true for why we love retro items. It reminds me of Tom Beaudoin's book in the early 90's "Virtual Faith" where he argued that tattoos and piercings were a form of concrete identity for people who were trying desperately to make one.

So, although I agree we need to do a much better job of looking forward, pastorally I think it's important to consider WHY we have such a need and desire to be connected to the past. It's not a bad thing, just something that needs to be done in healthy balance.

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