Dr. Kevin Bauder is not a name well known, so let me introduce him to you. He is Research Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minnesota and is, in my opinion, a voice to be heard. His brief essay entitled Paradigm Shift is well worth the reading and issues both warning and indictment in its short set of paragraphs.
His warning takes the form of the obvious observation that we are in the midst of a cultural and worldview paradigm shift of dreadful impact to the lives of all, but particularly those who name the name of Christ. What is unique about his particular turn of phrase is how he so vividly captures the general direction in which we are heading with an historical reference we can all understand (emphases added):
We have been living in the daylight—that is, in a civilization that has been shaped largely by biblical perspectives and norms. We are about to plunge into the night. We are at the door of a Dark Age.
What makes a Dark Age dark? Not the lack of technology. Not the dismantling of governments and other institutions. Not the absence of toys and amusements. Not the paucity of information. A Dark Age is dark because of the decline of virtue and the decay of morals. People who are highly learned, technologically sophisticated, artistically talented, and socially proficient may nevertheless be savages. When their savagery is directed against the people of God (as it inevitably is), all of their advantages merely make them more efficient opponents of truth, goodness, and beauty.
The night is coming. American Christians have been living as if the sun shone upon them, but the shadows are falling and the light grows dim. The time has come to abandon the daylight paradigm and to adopt the paradigm of the Dark Age. Christians must adjust their eyes to see in the night.
His indictment comes in the form of how the church has been sorely remiss in its responsibility to train up the next generation into men and women of God, leaving them as spiritual children to be blow about by “every wind of doctrine” and “the trickery of men.” (Ephesians 4:14-15)
For at least three generations, American Christians have tried to teach their children the meaning of Christianity by offering them fun and games. This program has left increasing numbers of young people unable to resist the perspectives of secularization. The American church has won more and more young people to less and less Christianity.
The lions in the Coliseum are “licking their chops” in anticipation.