Martin Luther issued the following challenge:
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
If we are to heed this challenge from the great Reformer, we must first recognize “that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking.” For everyone interested in professing Christ where the battle rages today I highly recommend the book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before. by Jean M. Twenge.
Twenge is an Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University with earned degrees from the Universities of Chicago (B.A. and M.A.) and Michigan (Ph.D.). I do not know if she is a follower of Christ but I do know that she understands the way the world exerts its influence in the heart. From the introduction to the book:
This book presents, for the first time, the results of twelve studies on generational differences based on data from 1.3 million young Americans. Many of the studies find that when you were born has more influence on your personality than the family who raised you…This book focuses on the current generation of young people, born in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.
Generation Me is well researched (there are 241 footnotes) and written in a rather conversational style that makes it an easy read. A quick glance at the chapter titles should be sufficient to draw interest in reading the content:
- You Don’t Need Their Approval: The Decline of Social Rules
- An Army of One: Me
- You Can Be Anything You Want to Be
- The Age of Anxiety (and Depression, and Loneliness): Generation Stressed
- Yeah, Right: The Belief That There’s No Point in Trying
- Sex: Generation Prude Meets Generation Crude
- The Equality Revolution: Minorities, Women, and Gays and Lesbians
- Apply Our Knowledge: The Future of Business and the Future of the Young
Generation Me will shock, sadden, and sober you to the realities of American life among the young today. I got a little depressed at the darkness of the times depicted in this work. There are no degrees of darkness, however, for Him, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” [and who] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). Let us be steady on this battlefield; understanding the times in which we live.