Monday, July 28, 2003


A quick comment on the Atlanta Youth Gathering, Do Life! Ubuntu. As a pastor, it was a very helpful trip to share quality time with the group, get to know the youth and chaperones more deeply, all of that. I can't say enough how much I appreciated going away on retreat, just being with the group. The same might have been accomplished at a outdoor ministry center or on a service trip, but Atlanta was the center of this trip, so...

But I continue to be surprised by these two things: (1) the whole gathering is a media extravaganza of gigantic proportions (by my estimate, the program, not even counting hotel, travel, and food costs, runs to about $5 million per week) apparently because the gospel, in order to be communicated to this generation, needs the assistance of flash and noise (much of the flash and noise I enjoyed, to be honest), and 2) all youth gatherings seem to be centered around social action and certain political pet projects of the ELCA. Again, I happen to agree with the politics, and support the causes the Gathering supported. Nevertheless, I feel that my underlying theological presuppositions are radically different. Why can't there be a youth gathering that doesn't deal with politics? Why must all confession of the faith move immediately to- "so you can do this and that because of your faith". Why can't it center on this- "Christ has done thus and so for you". Why mightn't it not be more evangelical, focusing on the repentance and the confession of sin. That is likely a better place for the beginning of "renewal", in any event.

No postings this coming week as we are in Newfoundland.

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