We are in a crisis, and it is one of the greatest crises we have ever encountered. While the world has always faced this issue in one way or another, the church has only begun to acknowledge the reality of it, and it is growing. This crisis is not merely one involving anti-establishment impulses or anti-tradition feelings that we have observed, off or on, throughout history. Nor is it simply a matter of typical teenage rebellion. Rather, it is a problem that has emerged in some ways in every age bracket.
This crisis, simply put, is the divorce of generations. Younger generations have divorced themselves from older generations, and older generations have all but given up on younger generations. While I am speaking generally, this crisis is the source of numerous other troubles in various contexts—the classroom, the workplace, the home, the state, the church, and the world. For when younger generations seek to sever all ties with older generations, the very fabric of civilization begins to rip apart. When younger men and women reject and repudiate the authority of older men and women, they are walking a path to their own demise.
That is why, in this issue, we have sought to publish articles that speak from generation to generation—from the older generation to the younger generation and from the younger to the older. Young men and women need to hear hard things and to receive wisdom, encouragement, admonition, and instruction from the older generation. Those things come most often as a result of genuine care expressed in tough love that leads us to understand what authentic love really is. Older men and women need to be more engaged in seeking out younger men and women to come alongside them—not with a finger pointing in their faces but with their arms around their shoulders. Younger generations desperately need the wisdom and discernment of older generations, and in order for us to possess wisdom so that we can pass it on to future generations, we need to humble ourselves, show honor and respect, close our mouths, and open our ears. We need to allow the older generations’ experiences, stories, and struggles to seep deeply into our souls. We need to keep listening, observing, and following the old paths of those faithful fathers and mothers who have walked arduous paths before us, for “where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14).