“Speakerguy” is that guy who came to speak at the Christian college where I am on faculty.Because Speakerguy and I are old friends, we spent a lot of time together catching up during his visit to campus.
In the local coffee shop, I asked him about the evangelical leaders he knows: celebrity authors, megachurch pastors, evangelists and non-profit CEOs. I wanted to know what he’d observed doing so much traveling to churches and colleges and religious organizations around the country.
I’m going to try to paraphrase what he told me. This isn’t an exact quote or transcript, I didn’t record our conversation or even think about writing it down. But now a couple weeks later, this is the best I can recall the gist of what he said:
“Dave, people with the theology and commitments like the students you’ve described, people who worship a perfectly loving God who wants them to be radically devoted to making the world a better place, people who aren’t afraid to change their theology to a theology of love and hope – those people are the future of Christianity in the West.”
When I expressed skepticism, because those in power at influential churches and Christian colleges and publishing houses seem devoted to a way of expressing our faith that seems narrow, exclusionary, vengeful, and uncritical of things like empire. He responded by saying,
“The best horse drawn carriages were built after the invention of the automobile. Many people looked at these new cars and laughed them off – they couldn’t possibly represent the future of transportation. But we know how the story goes. You and me and your students are the cars in this story: right now we’re a mess, and we’re loud, and we keep breaking down, and we don’t know where to get gas. But we’re the future, I’m as sure of that as I am that I’m sitting here.”