Perhaps the most significant gift for a person belonging to a faith community who is seriously searching for meaning and truth in a world where meaning and truth are in short supply and for a living tradition embedded within a community of faith is the gift of new questions. In each generation, we must be actively seeking the critical questions of its day. We must seek after the questions that are important for us to grapple with in our generation. In one sense, our generation is no different from any other generation. Yet, in another reason, it is significantly different because this generation is part of a generation that is experiencing the most significant paradigm shift that has taken place in Western society in the past 500 years. It makes the questions we are called upon to engage just that little bit more critical.
Maybe the best way of describing our situation is to say that we are a generation transitioning from the world of the Enlightenment to a post or even a post-Enlightenment paradigm. We are in transition, and it is unclear when the shift ends and the new paradigm or the new way of seeing and understanding the world in which we live fully begins. Thus, the way we navigate this transition is of considerable importance for us, both individually and corporately, as the people of God. I would suggest that as the church, we are called upon to grapple with three interrelated questions that will determine the future of the church for generations to come. The three questions are: What is the gospel? What does it mean to be the church in this generation? And finally, how do we as the people of God engage the world in this generation?