Monday, September 22, 2008

Sins of the Father

At PLTS we are constantly encouraged to understand how the Gospel speaks differently to different needs in different communities. We do this first by trying to determine what the "problem" is within a community, and then examine how their conception of Jesus as a savior fixes the problem. For instance, if a community feels that the problem with their existence is ignorance, they will want Jesus to be a great teacher; if the community is concerned about mortality, they want Jesus to be a bridge to immortality; if the community is concered about being conquered, they want Jesus to be a protector.

A New York Times article about the television program "Heroes" sees the popular program as speaking to the frustration of many young people who see their parents generation as causing global catastrophe, “Heroes” gives its fans cathartic validation: You inherited a screwed-up world, and it’s not your fault.

With many parallels in the show to AIDS, corporate exploitation, and global warming, all caused by the Baby-Boomer generation villains, the article's thesis is fairly compelling.

So what's the problem this community sees? Perhaps having bad parents? Jesus could then be the surragate mom and dad.

Perhaps it's that people have become so radically individualistic that they have ignored their relationship and responsibility to the rest of creation? Perhaps our generation's Jesus is the great community organizer, uniting all people into one.


Elana said...

Your NY Times link doesn't work!

Ben Colahan said...

Should be fixed.

Elana said...

What I find interesting about Heroes (admittedly, from the one or two episodes that I have seen) is that there is not one superhero that sweeps in to clean up the mess, there's no "Superman" to rescue the damsel in distress (or: all ordinary citizens). Instead, it is about "ordinary" people who discover that they actually possess the tools to save themselves, they just need to discover how to use them. If you were to draw any theological implications from this for the "Y" generation (is that what they're calling us nowadays?), it would be that young people are aching to overcome whatever helplessness (or apathy?) they feel towards the insurmountable problems with which they are faced to actually solve these problems for themselves. Granted, the "older generation" may keep messing things up, but the younger generation's Jesus--rather than raising them right, or cleaning up their problems for them, would EMPOWER them to solve the problems themselves.

Ben Colahan said...

Let's run with it. So what do young people need to to feel empowered to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems?

Daniel said...

A SENSE OF COMMUNITY! Our generation needs to feel empowered in a world in which power is wielded by entities like corporations and government that are too vast to combat on ones own. The church has a real opportunity to regain some serious influence if it can act as a rallying point for community building. The people need a voice that can be heard at the level of corporate giants and governments. People will feel empowered when they have the opportunity to be a part of something that can actually have an impact upon the large-scale problems that face our civilization.