Let’s face it, tradition for a long time got a bad rap. Often hailed as the opposition to change, tradition has an aspect of humanity we cannot run from. It grounds us. Allusions to the past, or retro, shows up everywhere and for quite a while. Going retro demonstrates some cool things.
There is no school like old school. Often the old school has the art and delight for something we now take for granted.
Mimicking is the highest form of flattery. The quest to allude to things past celebrates the work and efforts of those in generations past.
Things of old contain value. Retro understands this but adds to it a flare of modernity. In a real sense, it is our contribution. Appreciation is the parent, depth is the new birth.
Tradition grounds us in a way that helps us navigate life and understand the world. It gives us perspective and stability in an (overly) fast paced world.
In a church context, the retro movement can be seen as a rediscovery of what church is. There is a sense that many churches have lost who they are in running from tradition. There is movement to have a more classic approach to church, but not stodgy. In large measure it comes from a realization that church is unique and it has a rich history. Tradition wasn’t the enemy, and each generation must add its nuance.
The bottom line:
Culture wide there is a reach for all things past. In one sense, perhaps this is a realization that we’re a unique culture. (America is still very young.) But, in another sense I think people are seeking stability. Connecting with the past gives a sense of calmness. After all, we’ve been here before.