Book Briefs are short reviews on books I have been reading. Instead of giving a more in-depth review of certain books, I will combine several books and give a quick review of them.
*I received these books from the publisher in exchange for a review*
(Photo Credit: Baker Books)
Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World. By James Emery White. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2017. 224 pp. $10.00.
James Emery White is currently the senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, which he also founded, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He formerly served as president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including The Rise of the Nones and What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary.
In his newest book, Dr. White explains to the reader the cultural climate and religious attitude of Generation Z, which features a large (and growing) population of “nones,” people who have no interest in religion and, thus, have no religious affiliation whatsoever. As White writes, quoting Cathy Lynn Grossman, co-researcher for the American Religious Identification Survey in 2008, “[The nones] aren’t [merely] secularized. They’re not thinking about religion and rejecting it; they’re not thinking about it at all” (21). Additionally, White discusses the spiritual and social climate many of these Gen Z are being raised in, such as being marked by the recession, multiracial, hyper-connected to technology, and sexual fluidity.
In the second half of the book, White instructs us on what a new model might look like for engaging with Generation Z. In his view, the church must be counter-cultural and find her unique, prophetic voice amidst her cultural environment, while also rethinking strategically how to do evangelism and apologetics.
This book is a helpful reminder of some of the challenges the church is facing and will be facing more and more in the years ahead. While one might quibble over statistical data, it is nonetheless helpful to careful think through the issues discussed in this book.