In 1944 my father began pastoring in eastern Washington State. A generation of soldiers from World War II soon returned to build careers and families in the optimism of victory, American pride, and unprecedented prosperity. Government was a friend, nuclear families were the norm, sexual roles were clear, and God played a role in society. Cultural solidarity marked those post-war years and Dad's pastoral ministry.
In 1970 I began pastoring in eastern Washington State. The shaping factors of my life and ministry, however, were vastly different from Dad's, though we served in the same denomination and only a few miles apart.
When I began ministry, the Vietnam war was winding down. That conflict and the political turmoil it spawned dramatically marked my generation. Trust in the government and American values lost ground to skepticism if not hostility. We were the richest generation in history and had inherited the most powerful nation on earth-and we didn't like it. Assassinations, corruption, ...1