by Richard Tiplady, ed.
In the late 1990s some GenXers who were serving God in various mission organizations found each other and began discussing their experiences and perceptions.
Paternoster Press, P.O. Box 300, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 0QS, UK and P.O. Box 1047, Waynesboro, GA, 30830-2047, 2002, 129 pages, £8.99/$15.99.
—Reviewed by Michael Jaffarian, Coordinator of Research, CBInternational, michaeldawna @earthlink.net.
In the late 1990s some GenXers who were serving God in various mission organizations found each other and began discussing their experiences and perceptions. One of them was Richard Tiplady, who was then the Associate Director of Global Connections (formerly the UK Evangelical Missionary Alliance). Richard talked to Bill Taylor of the World Evangelical Alliance Missions Commission, which led to the Holy Island Roundtable — a gathering in March 2001 of seventeen bright, gifted, GenX Evangelical mission leaders, from six countries, on Holy Island (Lindisfarne, England). For five days the group worshipped, prayed, and discussed such things as: (1) the frustration many GenXers/postmoderns feel trying to fit into mission organizations led by Boomers and other older folk, (2) Christian GenXers’ zeal for the Lord, passion for mission, and other good things they have to offer, (3) how Western evangelicalism is too much married to Modernism and its weaknesses, (4) how Western evangelical-ism needs to learn from Postmodern-ism and its strengths, (5) how the older generation needs to hand over leadership (more of it, anyhow) to younger sisters and brothers, and (6) the positive changes they would like to see in the missions world.
Such are the themes of this thin but effective book. It is not a compendium of papers presented, since that’s apparently not how GenXers function. Instead, the first thing they did was (of course) launch a Web site, www.postmission.com (which is quite good, by the way), and then organize various participants to write various chapters for this book. More than anything, this is a tract directed to the Boomers and Veterans who hold positions of power in the Evangelical missions world today. It is written to help them (us) understand GenXers, why they are struggling to fit into mission organizations, how to lead them, how “Postmodernism is not the Antichrist” (an excellent chapter by Paula Harris of InterVarsity/Urbana), and how to make the kinds of changes that will allow GenXers’ gifts to flourish. This is a well-written, well-organized, important book. Mission leaders who are asking the questions, “Where have we gone wrong?” and, “How can things be fixed?” (which should be all of us) need to read this book and listen to these voices.
Check these titles:
Webber, Robert E. 2002. The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.
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