Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Guy Chmieleski

Second Advisor

Laura Simmons


The generation gap, as it is classically defined, maintains postures of ideological polarization between generational cohorts. In a congregational context, the pendulum of societal projection diagnoses obvious differences in generations as a means of dealing with systemic anxiety inhibiting differentiation.

The temptation of self-reactivity, destructively compensating for a lack of self- identity – through blame, shame, control, and escape/chaos – results in overgeneralization of the generation gap as a response to formational violations of love and trust, and a perpetuation of unresolved anxiety that leads to homeostasis of the generation gap. The family systems model frames generational research as a bifurcating tendency between the Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial cohorts as a way of identifying how the generational gap is a misplacement of anxiety.

Biblically, God initiates a process of creation, un-creation, and recreation individually and communally through reconciliation that begins with the foundations of creation, through the People of God, into the Gospels and New Testament as identity formation towards becoming a differentiated non-anxious presence.

The theology of table fellowship identifies Jesus as an embodiment of the dividing tension between cultural rejection (anti-symposium) and cultural assimilation (symposium) by remaining a differentiated non-anxious presence in postures toward reconciliation. Jesus invites convergent commensality—table fellowship that brings together varieties of people with differing ideals—demonstrating in each generational role postures for differentiated non-anxious dialogue that foster the reconciliation of generations within congregational context.

Included in

Christianity Commons