On December’s CrossCon and the “Millennial Christianity” Debate

New video about the new conference (HT: JT). December 27-30, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. Piper, Carson, DeYoung, Platt, Oh, and a bunch of other great, godly leaders. CBMW will be there, and with all our bells on.

Student registration, by the by, is a mere $100 for the next 7 weeks.

Hey, let’s take this moment to ever so briefly consider the fate of “Millennial Christians.” A few weeks back, Rachel Held Evans weighed in on this matter, and basically argued that millennials need to see that the church will respond to their desires and concerns. Brett McCracken responded and essentially went the other way, contending that millennials need to fit into churches and seek to serve them where they are. Trevin Wax pointed out that millennials who buy into a truly transformative savior are not going anywhere.

The debate is part of a larger conversation on the future of the church. Will “millennials” remain meaningfully evangelical? Will they opt out of it in pursuit of cultural cache? Are they going to be peeled off by the temptations of a thoroughly sexualized, technopolized, materialistic culture? Has the church lost its ability to appeal to younger folks?

Is evangelicalism, in short, going to die in our day?

Here’s my very quick response: absolutely not. You know why? Because of things like CrossCon. Thousands of young believers are going to pour into downtown Louisville to hear theologically rich talks that basically boil down to this: lose yourself in God, and in his global plan for gospel promotion. Jesus is your everything, the students will hear, and he needs to be preached to unreached people in megacities and hamlets and suburbs across the world so that he can be everything to those who are now lost in sin and in danger of hell. That’s what the speakers at CrossCon will say. That, after all, is what the Bible says (Matthew 28:16-20; Romans 10).

So this tells us something. It tells us that millennials are not universally enraptured and ensnared by iPhones and gross TV shows and pornography and games and trifles. It tells us that they have been captivated by a soaring vision of Almighty God. That, my friends, is why millennial Christianity will endure. Many have been absolutely caught up, Elijah-like, in the whirlwind of God’s intoxicating providence. They have lost their lives, and risen whole and new in Christ.

You might even say they’ve risked it all, and gained it all.

So, dear friends, you ask me, is the younger evangelical generation going to make it? Here’s my answer. I look at my fresh-faced students at Boyce College who love the Lord, get up early to pray together for missions, work hard in their classes studying the Word and its implications for all of life, do street evangelism on Bardstown Road, faithfully attend and serve their local churches, spend their hard-earned money to hear speakers challenge and exhort them to know Christ, and generally exude passion for God, and I say this: yes, the younger evangelicals are going to make it.

There’s a cultural storm coming, to be sure. But they have been anchored by divine grace, and nothing will pull them up–not the world, the flesh, or the devil.

I look at this generation, at least at the Christians whose hearts and minds are captured by the gospel grandeur of God, and I derive deep and sustaining encouragement. I look at them, and I smile.

The hour is late, but the workers are here.


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