Discover more from Faith for Living with Dr. Michael A. Milton
Your Sunday Chapel (on Monday)
Is There Not a Cause?
Sometimes, on my schedule, Sunday becomes Monday before you know it. I blame the “fallback” time change. Nevertheless, we are thankful to be able to present a special edition “chapel” message.1
Neil Howe (1951), a prominent sociologist and co-author of notable works such as "Generations" (1991) and "The Fourth Turning" (1997), argues that we find ourselves in a critical phase of historical cycles within Anglo-American history—an unraveling period that precedes a significant transformation. In an upcoming review, I plan to explore Howe's thesis from a biblical perspective.2
Howe identifies recurrent cycles, or “saecula,” in Anglo-American history, each spanning a century and comprising four generational archetypes akin to the seasons: the “High” of spring signaling new beginnings, the 'Awakening' of summer with generational rebellion, the 'Unraveling' of fall as institutions wane, and the “Crisis” of winter leading to societal upheaval. We are currently amidst the 'Crisis' of the Millennial Saeculum, with Howe's prediction of a forthcoming 'High' in the 2030s.3
Although we might reserve judgment on the full forecast presented in "The Fourth Turning," it seems Neil Howe has accurately predicted a frightening chill in the societal air, hinting that winter has indeed arrived in our current cycle. But we don’t need Neil Howe to know that the human condition, while unchanged and, thus, predictable, is also escalating in proportions. Yet we remember: “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20 NKJV).
In these challenging times, our response is to turn to the Lord, to answer His call to prayer, and to view these days through the lens of faith as a season ripe for harvest. This week's message from "Your Sunday Chapel" is an urgent call for a new generation of dedicated preachers and Christian leaders—shepherds who will bravely confront the crises before us, much like first responders rush towards danger.
Summary of this week’s Your Sunday Chapel
In today's installment of "Your Sunday Chapel," I grapple with the escalating turmoil that has gripped our nation: the anarchy, the violence, the profound divisions, and the pervasive hatred. With a spirit burdened for our country, I offer a fervent prayer to our Sovereign Lord to call forth and empower a new cohort of gospel preachers and missionaries—men and women who will herald the transformative grace, mercy, and peace found in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is my deep conviction that through the proclamation of the Gospel, hearts will be turned towards salvation, lives will be recommitted to Christ, and the Kingdom of God will grow, radiating peace from within our very souls to the wider community. In this prayerful reflection, I implore the Lord's guidance and strength for these future leaders, those whom He calls into His service.
Join me in envisioning a nation renewed by the Gospel, a society where the Kingdom of God is a palpable force for peace and righteousness. It is in the powerful and matchless name of Jesus that I make this plea—Amen.
Please watch and allow the message to challenge and encourage your heart in these times that so desperately need a touch of divine grace.
I close with the thought of the great Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661). Concerning the concept of a frozen season being upon us, we know that Rutherford, that eminent Scottish divine, was locked away in a prison in the cold of Aberdeen. He wrote to a supporter, Lady Culross (Elizabeth Melville, 1578-1640), and urged that timeless truth we, too, must know: that “grace growth best in winter.”4
The film is archived at https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/881745739/transcript.
N. Howe, The Fourth Turning Is Here: What the Seasons of History Tell Us about How and When This Crisis Will End(Simon & Schuster, 2023).
Consider the review of Francis Fukuyama, “Big Histories for the Big Future,” The New York Times, July 18, 2023, sec. Books, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/18/books/review/the-fourth-turning-is-here-neil-howe-end-times-peter-turchin.html.
A. Whyte, Samuel Rutherford and Some of His Correspondents: Lectures Delivered in St. George’s Free Church, Edinburgh (Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, 1894), 46.