I heard a speaker/preacher once say at church, “if you go back far enough, everyone has a past.” The purpose of saying that was to make everyone realize you are not where you use to be but never think of yourself to highly because, without God, none of us would be where we are at today. While this speaker wanted us to remember we were not always as holy as we are now, Nick Spencer would like the current culture, particularly the secularist, to realize the good that Christianity has done.
Nick Spencer, Theos Think Tank Researcher, and Writer compile his collection of essays that share the good things that Christianity has shared with the world in his work The Evolution of the West. Along with his original thoughts, Spencer reviews and adds his commentary on three significant books: Larry Siedentop’s Inventing the Individual, Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, and Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Similar to Taylor, Spencer aims to highlight that while religion has declined, it is also woven into the very fabric of the current age (and is the cause is some respects). Graeme Smith in reviewing this work notes, “I approached Nick Spencer’s collection of essays, lectures and reviews expecting to agree with its main thesis, namely that Western public life owes more to its Christian heritage than is usually recognized” and continues by saying, “There are many interesting sections in the book, and it is often engagingly written, some chapters betraying to good effect their origins as public lectures; however, it fails to develop a sustained argument throughout or to analyse critically the implications of its main thesis for either public life or the work of the churchesWhile I agree with the discontinuity at times, the underlying thread of the impact of Christian is still to be found in the collection of essays Spencer has but forth in this work.
As I continue to research and write for my specific topic of Spirit-led leadership for the next generation, one thing that Spencer and others have reminded me of is the importance of connecting our history to our present. We live in a hyper-connected and hyper-fast world, and it is only getting faster. Studies are showing that the avg attention span now is 8 seconds. The immersive overload of our entertainment-driven lives makes us yearn for the next great thing. Therefore, history becomes the next “instant” moment. Lyons points this out in his book Jesus in Disneyland writing, “Heritage becomes instant and the immediate purges the historical memory, even as it is simulated in film footage and hands-on interactive experiences.” How then do we break into this fast-paced world, I believe that while it may include new ways via technology, maybe something “new” is actually “old.” Rediscovering the slow pace of faith as Spirit-led leaders could go a long way towards effectively developing next-gen leaders. Kinnaman brilliantly says, “the roots of faithfulness often sink deeper in anxious, unsettled times. Faith can grow even—and sometimes especially—in the darkest of places.” As Spencer does, remembering what has been, could go a long way of understanding what is now.
.” Graeme Smith (2017) The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values, Practical Theology, 10:1, 102-104, DOI: 10.1080/1756073X.2017.1287043
 Elmore, Tim. Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population . Poet Gardner. Loc 887, Kindle Edition.
 Lyon, David. Jesus in Disneyland. Wiley. Loc 158, Kindle Edition.
 Kinnaman, David. Faith for Exiles (p. 16). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.