We can’t quite put our finger on it, but we know that in 2017 we are entering a “brave, new world.” Miranda, Prospero’s daughter in Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” utters the phrase, “Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t!” Interestingly, Aldous Huxley borrowed the phrase as the title of his dystopian novel in 1931. The difference between the two uses is that Huxley uses the phrase ironically. What was a wondrous experience in the beginning for “John the Savage,” becomes disgusting and repulsive by the end of the novel.
Today, we live in Huxley’s brave, new world. The celebrated political scientist Noam Chomsky has characterized the United States as “an empire in decline.” The same was said of the Roman empire after A.D. 300. Invasion, economic problems, the rise of other nations, over-extension, military spending, political instability, and religious chaos all contributed to the decline of Rome. The United States is showing some of the same indicators. Our most recent general election revealed the dark side of America’s problems. It revealed a divided country: a country of special interests, a country that has lost sight of its mandate to protect the land, a country that does not respect life and is possessed by an insular hubris. Does this mean America can’t be “great again”? Well, it depends on how you understand the term “great”. I will not venture an answer here. Many place their hopes on a Republican renaissance. Others on a Democratic revival. As I have said in the past, as a citizen, you must vote your values. YTI seeks to love and serve in this cultural reality.
Here, in the heart of the northern Rockies, YTI pursues its calling in this divided culture. We pursue a brave, new approach for this brave, new world. We seek to find ways in which we can help unite a divided culture. We seek to imbue our local culture with a sense of wholeness in community. We help the poor, homeless, and helpless find love in justice, education, and reconciliation. Most importantly, we train our students to do the same. As Christian leaders, our students are going into the communities they serve and sharing the love, mercy, justice, peace, and good news of Christ. The lessons they learn at YTI change lives. Thank you for your support in prayer, finances and by spreading the word about us. You are changing lives too!
Grace & Peace,
Dr. Jay Smith, President