6.02.2006

The Church of David Blaine

So I was watching this show last night on A&E called Criss Angel: Mindfreak. Criss Angel is basically a Generation X illusionist who does some pretty cool tricks. Yesterday he levitated from one building to another in plain daylight. I don't get how guys like him and David Blaine do that kind of thing!

And speaking of David Blaine, I had a thought a few weeks ago as I was watching his TV special where he tried to hold his breath for 9 minutes. I was thinking about how David Blaine was the new David Copperfield. David Copperfield is out; David Blaine is in. And here's the difference...

David Copperfield was still in the old style of magic where you have a stage and an audience and exotic props and foofy costumes. David Blaine (and now Criss Angel) is the new style of magic. Where you walk up to someone on the street and do a really cool card trick or "mind-reading" trick or whatever. David Copperfield was a flamboyant showman. David Blaine is anything but flamboyant. David Copperfield comes across as a performer. David Blaine comes across as just a regular guy.

Here's why this is interesting to me. David Copperfield (the Baby Boomer) is the equivalent to the Baby Boomer megachurch. David Blaine (the Gen-Xer) is the equivalent to the postmodern emerging church.

The Baby Boomer David Copperfield megachurch is all about putting on a great performance for a large audience. It's about being attractional. It's about getting as many people as possible into your church building. It's about lights and excitement and stage presence.

The Gen-X David Blaine postmodern emerging church is all about going out into the street to meet people. It's about being incarnational. It's about meeting people where they are--on the street. It's about talking with someone one-on-one and letting them know that they are loved and that they belong.

Don't get me wrong, the David Copperfield church is still great and meets a lot of peoples' needs and does help people grow in their relationship with Jesus. But I have a feeling that these emerging generations will find more of a home in the David Blaine church--where real people say to real people, "Hey, I want to show you something..."