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PROJECT 2010: A look back at the decade

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As the years of the first decade of the 21st Century come to a close, The Baptist Messenger looks back over the past 10 years and examines in detail the dawn of the 21st century. Each month in 2010, the Baptist Messenger will feature detailed reports of the massive changes the decade brought to the church and the world.  From the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 to the near collapse of the American economy in 2008 to the election of the nation’s first African-American president, the decade of the “aughts” (as it is commonly known by the zeros in the years 00-09) brought
sweeping changes to the culture.

Just how radical things have changed is not easy to see apart from the perspective of looking back from the very beginning of the decade. Some of the decade’s drama will linger through many generations. It will be a very long time until 9/11 goes back to being just another day in September. The colossal tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina will linger each time another storm approaches the Gulf Coast. The advances of science and technology seem almost too fantastic to believe. The human genome was fully sequenced in April, 2003, giving rise to a host of bio-ethical questions. YouTube, iTunes, and Wikipedia had yet to be developed at the turn of the last century.Now the iPod dominates the world of music and video. Terri Schiavo will forever be remembered for her manner of death. Globalization has overtaken the major economies of the world, and the vision for global evangelism now dominates the Southern Baptist Convention.

Local congregations now access and employ technology to directly communicate with their community. The words missional and Great Commission Resurgence have a meaning all their own within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Join the Baptist Messenger each month for a look back at the first decade of the 21st century.

Author: Douglas Baker

View more articles by Douglas Baker.

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