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  • Nate

    This is a great article. As a college student following Christ, I wish many of my peers would listen to wisdom like this from our elders. I see many of my friends and classmates struggling without a Christ based theology of work and money. Thanks for the good reminder of why I am in college and why Christ has called me here.

  • http://gravatar.com/groovyman67 groovyman67

    Never tell these kids they are sinners in need of a Savior, or to follow Christ means to die to self and take up one’s cross daily.

    Not suprising that self-fulfillment is top priority, when there is no God what’s left but to make yourself happy in whatever way you want.

    The culture made self-esteem ultimate for this generation whilst the Christian culture raised them on the Veggie-Tales gospel of ‘you are so special, God loves you so much’ – and their hearts eat it up – they are from all quarters directed to make their own self-contentment, apart from Jesus Christ, their goal.

  • owenstrachan

    Good word, Nate. Glad you’re pursuing a Christ-centered way of life and thought. Amen.

    Groovy, that’s a good point on the Veggie Tales gospel approach. I’m not an enemy of VT, but the theology is lacking in several key places.

  • http://www,churchfurniturepartner.com Church Furniture Guy

    I had never heard of “Generation Me”. I’m taking a look at it now. I do think the point that the Millennials did not ask to be raised as we raised them is very valid.

  • http://www.churchfurniturepartner.com Church Furniture Guy

    I had never heard of “Generation Me”. I’m taking a look at it now. I do think the point that the Millennials did not ask to be raised as we raised them is very valid.

  • jihyunshee

    “They have their troubles too, but many Asian cultures are succeeding at education and a form of old-school character training where America and many European countries have moved away from these modes of flourishing.”
    With all due respect, as an Asian-American who has experienced and studied the educational structure that is implemented in Asia, I have to bring to light that the education and old-school character training in Asia is a far-cry from the perhaps former American “work ethic” I think you are trying to refer to. There is a strong sense of godlessness in Asian education, and while many of the millennials in America might have been “coddled” by their parents, Asian children are still experiencing their “coddling,” it just manifests itself in very different ways – it is a strict, stringent, and often crushing pressure that perpetuates a very systematic, rote memorization-style learning experience that is still leaving many post-grads in Asia jobless. (Hence why Asian students are still coming to universities in the US for graduate school by the thousands)
    And on a technicality – Japan’s economy has actually been on a steady decline since the 1990′s due to China’s dramatic increase in production and its investment in the American dollar. Many Japanese young people today are actually grappling with similar questions – questions of quality of life, the role of money in identity, etc. and the answer is coming back to a similar place as the US: self-fulfillment. Japan’s marriage rate has also decreased, and it has one of the lowest birthing rates in Asia.
    I heartily agree with your statement that economics reflects our core philosophy, but in the case of Asia I would say that Asia’s work philosophy is rooted in a still-sinful desire to satisfy pride (for oneself and for one’s family name) and enable purchasing power – an identity that is still and ultimately not rooted in Christ.

    • http://gravatar.com/bleedingcalvinist bleedingcalvinist

      Thank you for sharing. That was interesting and insightful.

  • owenstrachan

    Ji-Hyun (forgive improper spelling!),

    I resonate with your comments. Thank you for the perspective and information. You have identified problems that are clearly cultural and endemic in Asian countries.

    My only comment would be that I tried to hedge on exactly this point, speaking to “a form” of character education because I anticipated exactly this kind of response. I did not mean to indicate that formation in the countries I mentioned is ideal or biblical. Still, something is present in the East that seems lost in the West–though it may not be present for the right reasons.

    The furor over the “Tiger Mom” material relates here, I think. Achievement can be good, but at what cost? Nonetheless, there’s something lost in this country that has not been replaced by a more positive movement.