One Church: Four Generations (2)

As the generations interact in a given environment, there is bound to be tension. This is what we often call the generation gap. Gary L. McIntosh states that when lives are shorter and/or change is slower, the generation gap is smaller. When lives are longer and change is rapid (like the last fifty years) the gap is often larger. I would add an additional caveat: rather than define change on a national or societal scale, we should consider it on a local or familial scale. In other words I imagine generation gaps are more defined in large cities than in rural communities-- in homes broken by death or divorce than those that are not.

McIntosh also suggests a new addition to the generation gap: the technology gap. For example, I and my parents all have experience with rotary phones/cell phones, typewriter/computer, B&W TV/color TV, postal mail/e-mail. I and my son's generation will not share this. He will likely never touch a typewriter, analog phone,or B&W TV. Who knows whether he and his friends will bother to write letters to one another? The gap between me and my parents will be smaller than the one between me and my son.

One last thought. How does a common bond shared through faith in Christ impact the so-called generation gap?


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