AUTHOR: Haydn Shaw
PUBLISHER: Carol Streams, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015, (304 pages).
Part One focuses on the four individual generations like the Traditionalists (those born before 1945), the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-1964), Generation X (those born between 1965-1980), and the Millennials (those born between 1981-2001). The Traditionalists are shaped by the Great Depression, the World War II, Mass Marketing, and a high regard for experts. The Baby Boomers experience a time of affluence, fascinated by TV, and a tilt toward individualism. Gen Xers experience high divorce rates, unable to afford high housing prices, more sensitive to family needs, often cynical but also realistic about life. Millennials receive the benefit of heavier parental involvement, and were raised as consumers. They are also technology natives with a high desire for authenticity in their relationships. While many of these observations are general observations, they are only an introduction to the unique differences, strengths and weaknesses of each generation. Each of them have rather different views of religion and faith matters.
From Part Two onward, Shaw deals with practical matters pertaining to various relationships. Beginning with FRIENDS, he tackles the topic of how we can respond to people who say "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual" statement. He warns against the "Be Good, Feel Good, Live Your Life (God is Watching" philosophy which is a major danger to real faith. Words such as "sin," "faith," "grace," "holiness," all carry different meanings by different generations. Shaw suggests steps like, listening more and asking questions more.
Part Three talks about the all important topic of FAMILY. The three key questions dealt with here are:
- When will our children in their 20s start living in their own homes?
- How do we reach our young's increasingly distant faith relationship with God?
- What about the young putting off marriage and engaging in pre-marital sex?
- Will Christianity disappear after three more generations?
- Why are young people not coming to our Church?
- What are we to do with a Church that seems to be increasingly distant from us?
Often, people listen to others in order to reply to them rather than to simply listen. Each generation need to learn how to listen not only to their own peers but also to be respectful of others. Working through 1 Corinthians 13, Shaw calls for us to put on the chapter of love to share and to care for one another. Inter-generational communications need not be that difficult, especially when love is the driving force for all. This book certainly ranks among the most important books to help us clarify our understanding of different generations. The problem with many miscommunications and misunderstandings is because people assume other generations understand them. The prayer of St Francis is particularly helpful.
Let Haydn Shaw guide you in this book not only in inter-generational understanding but also intra-generational understanding. Do not be surprised that much family disputes can be resolved by merely learning to understand where that particular generation comes from. Even better, when both generations seek to understand each other's perspectives, you have a wonderful dance of understanding and seeking to understand. This book may very well be far more effective than the marriage advice books or parent-child relationship enhancement books out there. It's a simple idea but carries lots of wisdom.Make me a channel of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love, Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord, And where there's doubt, true faith in You Make me a channel of your peace, Where there's despair in life let me bring hope, Where there is darkness - only light, And where there's sadness, ever joy Oh Master, grant that I may never seek, So much to be consoled as to console, To be understood, as to understand, To be loved, as to love with all my soul
Rating: 4.75 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.