Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Age Cage

Zondervan Publishing House describes its Teen Study Bible as "a Bible that speaks to their [teenagers'] world." Huh? And, the normal Bible doesn't? Do teenagers need "Jericho Joe" to add a "lighthearted, cartoon touch to the text"? Personally, I don't think of a Bible that supposedly speaks to me in language I can understand. And, this is relatively good for a spiritual book aimed at teenagers. I linked from the Teen Study Bible to One-Minute [(!)] Bible 4 Students. It seems that Doug Fields, the book's author, honestly believes that teenagers can only hold their attention on the Word of God for one minute at a time (and they need to be spoon-fed the truth in these texts). But these books are only manifestations of a bigger problem: the Age Cage.

What is the Age Cage? It's my name for the set of low expectations our culture holds for teenagers. These low expectations hinder young adults both by preventing them from taking on responsibility and by encouraging them to waste their time, money, and brainpower "having fun". Alex and Brett Harris have written a great book called Do Hard Things (as well as a fantastic blog) on this subject. I started rereading Do Hard Things today for youth group. I have recently been thinking of applying for an internship with a popular talk radio host. However, I have a recurring suspicion that my age would prevent me from getting the position. Bam! The Age Cage strikes again! Am I less qualified than the interns holding these positions now? Perhaps I have less experience, but I have the capacity to obtain their experience--but I never will unless I am given the opportunity.

What do you think? Am I being irrational? Is there an "Age Cage" in America? Should there be? How have culture's expectations affected you?

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