I grew up immersed in typical Christian culture: heavy emphasis on morality, fairly dogmatic, linear, and authoritative. Because my experience was so homogenous and my skill set included Flying Right, I found wild success within the paradigm. My interpretations were rarely challenged by diversity, suffering, or disparity. Since the bull’s-eye was good behavior (we called it “holiness”), I earned an A.
But as I careened into adulthood, my firm foundation endured some havoc. I noticed very few of my Third Day Acquire the Fire Disciple Now Weekend Mercy Me compatriots sticking with church after high school, all of whom had been “on fire” just a few short years before. Because I chose a small Baptist college, my youth group environment was preserved in a collegiate setting and I remained confused and slightly betrayed by the mass exodus of my friends. My own spiritual tension was delayed and I didn’t understand the migration until later.1