Posted by: gcarkner | January 31, 2020

Existential Identity Crisis of Millennials


Millennials are claiming that life is hard and often exhausting. Life today is like climbing a bare rock face, without instruction or ropes, as per this young man at Joshua Tree National Park in California. The feel vexed by self-worth issues and deeply lonely, even though they are heavily networked on social media. They are overwhelmed with diversity and pluralism and are crying out for mentorship and guidance (discernment) as to how to do life in a high tech age, one which overwhelms them with far too much information to process.  They also long for orientation, inspiration and transformation, personal growth and meaning. This talk attempts to map some of the Millennial burdens/struggles (the clouds or vexing problems and addictions that hover over them) and offers a trajectory for solutions, actions and engagement towards a more resilient, healthy identity growth, a more mature diversity. It shows an exit from our contemporary existential despair or dread that Kierkegaard opined about, and helps point the way to recovery.

~Dr. Gordon E. Carkner

See also on topic of identity James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love.

Faithful Presence: I have argued that there is a different foundation for reality and thus a different kind of binding commitment symbolized most powerfully in the incarnation. The incarnation represents an alternative way by which word and world come together. It is in the incarnation and the particular way the Word became incarnate in Jesus Christ that we find the only adequate reply to the challenges of dissolution and difference. If, indeed, there is a hope or an imaginable prospect for human flourishing in the contemporary world, it begins when the Word of shalom becomes flesh in us and is enacted through us toward those with  whom  we live, in the tasks we are given, and in the spheres of influence in which we operate. When the Word of all flourishing—defined by the love of Christ—becomes flesh in us, in our relations with others, within the tasks we are given, and within our spheres of influence—absence gives way to presence, and the word we speak to each other and to the world becomes authentic and trustworthy. This is the heart of the theology of faithful presence.

~from James Davison Hunter, To Change the World: the irony, tragedy and possibility of Christianity in the late modern world. OUP, 2010.

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