Perhaps the most significant difference between our generation of church members and previous generations of Christians is that, if we even notice our low level of Christian experience, we aren’t desperate to escape from it.
Of course, this was always true in some denominational traditions, where sainthood was relegated to a few, and the rest went about their business. But in other traditions, which claimed that every believer in Christ is supposed to be a saint, it was common for members to compare their own lives with the New Testament experience and strive to match it. Watchman Nee wrote about “the normal Christian life,” pointedly saying that a Christian living in his own strength is not normal. Average, but not normal.
Today, we believe that average is normal. We pretend we are rich and have need of nothing. Meanwhile, orthodox Christianity is shrinking in the West and previous generations of fiery Christians are little known in the West. And we only occasionally notice the difference between our generation and theirs.