Vol. 4 Issue 51 | December 21, 2018

Three Things This Week

1. Gen Z’s “Third Space”

What is it: With more than 200 Million registered gamers, Fortnite now doubles as a social hang-out space for teens.

Why it’s not just a game: Quartzy states Fortnite is this generation’s “third space” to connect between work and school. Students flock to “video games like pubs, coffee shops, and other hangouts of old to make new friends and build social bonds.” And according to players, the environment is more friendly and less toxic than other social platforms. Maybe this explains some of the Fortnite’s mass appeal, because, well, it’s not just a game! How can you help your teen create a “third space” that isn’t online? Hanging out with friends on Fortnite is fun, but nothing can replace face to face relationships.

2. Merry Bingemas

What is it: Netflix is notoriously stingy in providing viewing data to the pubic, but they did recently release their top 10 “most-binged” shows in 2018.

Why it’s must watch teen tv: High School drama On My Block topped their charts and 13 Reasons Why: Season 2 came in third. Even more interesting, the top three streamed “Netflix Original” shows were all high school rom-coms (The Kissing Booth, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Roxanne Roxanne). If this data is an indicator, Netflix’s primary audience just might be Gen Z, which means more student dramedies are on their way in 2019 including a sequel of “TATBILB”. After checking out their most watched shows, ask your teens which ones they binged, which were their favorites, and why.

3. Axis + You = Better Together!

What it is: Every week our team spends countless hours researching teen culture so you don’t have to, equipping thousands of parents just like you to start conversations with their kids that last a lifetime.

Why we need you: What makes Axis and The Culture Translator special is also our greatest need. Giving weekly insights to parents all over the world takes theological insight, extensive research, and practical guidance. To continue our mission, we need your help! We’re raising $76,000 at year-end to fund the ongoing research needed to keep you ahead of culture in 2019. Click here to make your year-end gift today. Also, check out our latest video to see what our team is creating for your family in the coming months! Because of faithful readers like you, we’ve already raised $10,800 toward our goal. Thanks for making your gift today!

A Season of Treason

One of the unfortunate realities of our modern Christmas commemorations is the reduction of Christ’s’ birth to a sweet, sentimental story of a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lowing cattle, and gentle shepherds. But the advent of our Lord was anything but sappy, it was incredibly subversive! Mary prophesied her child would scatter the proud, bring down the mighty from their thrones, and send the rich away empty handed. The Psalmist proclaims He will “defend the cause of the poor, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.” Maybe that’s why Herod wanted him killed. This Christ-child we worship didn’t merely come into the world to reign in our hearts, but to inaugurate His kingdom come and his will done on earth as it is in heaven.

The Gospel writers understood this better than anyone. At the time of Jesus’ birth there was already a man who was called divine, son of god, and god from god. His titles were “Lord”, “Redeemer”, “Liberator”, and “Savior of the world”. His name? Caesar Augustus. To give these titles to Jesus was thereby to deny them of Caesar. That was either a strange coincidence or “it was what the Romans call maiestas and we call high treason”! This language places Jesus in direct opposition to any political power claiming our ultimate allegiance both then and now. Simply put, Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not. Proclaiming that is dangerous, even today. It might just get you crucified.

As you celebrate Christmas with your family, remember there’s more to this sweet story than meets the eye. The rightful king arrived meek and lowly to put the powers that be on notice. Rome’s imperial politic of power was replaced with the Kingdom politics of love. As citizens in this kingdom, our lives are now re-oriented around a new administration and a new constitution. So if you want to keep Christ in Christmas, there’s no better way to do it than feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, welcoming the foreigner, caring for the poor, loving your enemies, and doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. Then, there will be peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Amen.

Bonus Question!

We’re updating our Conversation Kit on evangelism and want your input! What questions/doubts have you been hearing from the teens in your life? What do you wish you could show them about evangelism and the gospel?

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