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Has millennial American Christianity lost sight of its innate "missional" character as it engages the ideologies and artifacts of American popular culture? In many ways the answer is yes, especially as it relates to a very large and increasingly influential group of young people called the Millennial Generation-and, in the process, alienating a large portion of America's future. A prime example is the extreme reactionism of many conservative evangelicals toward the bad boy from Canton, Marilyn Manson. Since exploding from the bowels of Florida's underground metal scene, Manson has, through a deft use of "exaggerated realism" fused with classic heavy blues, creatively constructed a darkened "mirror" of American public culture itself. As such, what the gatekeepers of the good and virtuous society see as disgusting, violent, and corrosive is simply an over-the-top caricature of the pure and virtuous society itself. There is a very large gulf separating two very real "cultures": a fearful public culture and a large and mysterious youth culture. To faithfully and humbly engage such a group, the Christian community must jettison their reactionary rhetoric in favor of a truly missional mindset that sees the millennial generation and their prophets not so much as enemies to be vanquished but as a "mission field" to be harvested. Indeed, American evangelicals must become truly missional Christians in a postmodern and post-Christian culture.
Buy Marilyn Manson: The Lonely Watchman by Richard D Nelson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781597818704 & 1597818704
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