The Quest for the Next Big Thing

I enjoy the successful blend of form, content, and wit (i.e., style) in Carl Trueman’s articles over at reformation21. Tonight I came across an article by him in the new issue of Modern Reformation titled The Quest for the Next Big Thing.  Enjoy!

If there is one thing that marks out this present age it is the quest for The Next Big Thing. One can see it all around in the wider culture: there is a whole genre of TV programs dedicated to finding the next pop star; companies like Apple make their money by constantly reinventing the same old products in slightly improved forms, assuming both that the public will fall once again for the notion that this version is so much better than the last, and that said public will not realize the company has already developed the next generation after this one, to be rolled out in just six months’ time. The public never seems to disappoint on either count. Why? Because the public assumes that the meaning of life is always in the future and, increasingly, to be found in some kind of technological solution.

There are many cultural factors that influence this spirit of the age, from the dominance of a scientific paradigm, which points constantly to the future as the source of something better, to the celebrity culture of Hollywood, with its constant production of new stars. Here, however, I want to focus on just three: the pervasive entrepreneurialism of the modern age; the obsession with youth culture; and the fixation on big personalities. These three factors are closely linked in the culture of the modern evangelical church. continue reading