Please forward this error screen to 72. Anyway, as far as I can tell, where young evangelicals are headed is simply out of evangelicalism. They have been, as Jared C. Wilson recently wrote, theologically and spiritually praying for your future wife pdf by pastors and other Christian leaders who were willing to entertain them and occasionally to hector them but who had no interest whatsoever in Christian discipleship.
So if young evangelicals are leaving evangelicalism, where are they going? Mostly I would be pleased if they did so, and grateful for the company. I also believe quite strongly that Evangelicals will find in the older traditions spiritual and theological resources that will give them spiritual help not available within Evangelicalism, despite its strengths. That said, it would be a huge mistake if frustrated young Evangelicals came to Orthodoxy or Catholicism thinking that they would be finding refuge or escape from modernity.
Yes, you will find partial refuge, within the liturgy and the sacraments, and within the stability of tradition, but there really is no escape from the acid bath of liquid modernity. It cannot be avoided, only endured. True, you are unlikely to find America-worship in Catholic and Orthodox parishes, but we have our own serious challenges too. A number of intellectual and aesthetic-minded Evangelicals admire Catholicism for the steadiness of its Magisterium, and because its liturgy is deeper than what they’re used to. Orthodoxy doesn’t have this problem with liturgy, thank the Lord, but many parishes in our country are clubhouses that worship the tribe, with some Jesus thrown in on the side. The point is, Evangelicals who swim to Byzantium will be exchanging one set of problems for another.
To be clear, I still believe it is worth it! There is a reason that, when I found myself so broken that I was no more capable of believing as a Roman Catholic than a man with two broken legs is capable of walking, I never once considered returning to Protestantism. This is despite the fact that some of the finest and most Spirit-filled Christians I know are Protestants. The weight of doctrine and history is overwhelming, as are the sacraments and the liturgy. That said, I feel strongly that I should caution Evangelicals who are burning out on their tradition not to make an idol of the older traditions. I did this when I came into Catholicism, and that ended up having a lot to do with my radical disillusionment with Catholicism.
If you read this as me discouraging you from leaving Evangelicalism, you’re misreading me. Don’t give up or give in! It doesn’t have to be this way! There is WAY more to the Christian tradition than you probably know!