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Intellectual Judgement Day

While listening to yet another compelling, energetic, passionate, worship song produced by the folks out at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, I was confronted with a sobering and very serious concern. How will this passion and zeal for the worship of God translate into the next generation? Recently, I listened to a podcast by Justin Brierly (Unbelievable? Podcast) where Justin was talking to a younger man who had grown up in IHOP and loved it for a while but has now come to determine that the "prophecies" coming out of the leadership at IHOP were intellectually dishonest. Much of IHOP's vision and self-understanding is based upon these prophecies, it seems, and when this young man began to see the prophecies as being more or less self-fulfilling or revisionist history or what have you, his whole experience at IHOP (which up to that point, according to his testimony, had been very good.) began to deconstruct. Today, this man believes that even Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet. Very sad. I also have many concerns and critics about IHOP's prophetic language and understanding, but I love the music and the passion for the Lord. I think I am beginning to understand, however, a little bit of what sometimes happens between the generations in western Christian culture. One of IHOP's appeals is the straight forward nature of their vision. It is black and white. It is very definite. You know where you stand, you know what your calling is, you know what your purpose is. You can go forward at 110 percent. As human beings, we love this! It is simple and practical. I can now stop analyzing things and just put the pedal to the metal. But what happens when the next generation grows up watching our passion but finding holes within our vision? What will we do then? We may be satisfied enough to ignore the intellectual questions that arise at different times and which seem to punch holes in our black and white world, but what happens when our children are not so satisfied? I am afraid, and this is the burden of my song, that this will be a day of reckoning for unattended and overdue critical thought. When the day comes, we will either enter into crisis with our questioning children or we will insist that there ought not to be a crisis and effectually push our children away (even inadvertently push them out the door of the faith!) That is too high a price to pay in my book. But does this mean that nothing is black and white or that nothing is so certain that we can commit ourselves to it whole heartedly? Far from it! We all want and need something we can really give ourselves too. We need purpose. Our purpose exists and we need to trust that. But we ought not to sell ourselves short by devoting ourselves to something without critical thought. The Gospel is highly simple on one hand and can be summed up by saying "God loves you". But it is also very complex on the other hand since it involves people, history, prophecy, the fall and rise of kingdoms, the revelation of the person of God Himself, and the defeat of evil. We cannot afford and should not choose to shortchange ourselves and the rising generations by refusing the intellectual challenges of critical thought and the coming generation. The price is too high to pay. And make no mistake, pay day is coming, in fact it is already here for the present generation. Our Western culture is in desperate need of a Christian revival and I am convinced that it will not get it without also facing the intellectual challenges of the present and coming generations. Revival is more than this but not less. As an attempt to remedy this situation, I would like to invite you to "like" my new Facebook Page for "The Gospel University" to stay connected as I release details of this upcoming project to engage the next generation of skeptics.

Intellectual Judgement Day

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