By Kenda Creasy Dean
According to the nationwide learn of juvenile and Religion--the related worthwhile facts as its predecessor, Soul looking out: The spiritual and religious Lives of yank Teenagers--Kenda Creasy Dean's compelling new ebook, Almost Christian, investigates why American young children are immediately so optimistic approximately Christianity and even as so apathetic approximately real non secular perform.
In Soul Searching, Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton came across that American children have embraced a "Moralistic healing Deism"--a hodgepodge of banal, self-serving, feel-good ideals that bears little resemblance to standard Christianity. yet faraway from faulting youngsters, Dean locations the blame for this theological watering down squarely at the church buildings themselves. rather than proclaiming a God who calls believers to lives of affection, carrier and sacrifice, church buildings provide in its place a discount faith, effortless to take advantage of, effortless to fail to remember, providing little and significant much less. yet what's to be performed? with a purpose to produce ardent younger Christians, Dean argues, church buildings needs to rediscover their feel of project and version an figuring out of being Christian as no longer anything you do for your self, yet anything that calls you to proportion God's love, in notice and deed, with others. Dean came upon that the main dedicated younger Christians shared 4 vital features: they can inform a private and robust tale approximately God; they belonged to an important religion neighborhood; they exhibited a feeling of vocation; and so they possessed a profound experience of wish. in keeping with those findings, Dean proposes an method of Christian schooling that areas the belief of project at its middle and gives a wealth of concrete feedback for uplifting teenagers to reside extra authentically engaged Christian lives.
Persuasively and accessibly written, Almost Christian is a get up name nobody curious about the way forward for Christianity in the USA can manage to pay for to ignore.
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Extra info for Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church
Every religious convert goes through this process when joining a faith community, and religious formation involves teaching young people how to use religious tools in the ways that are distinctive to that community, thereby establishing young people as members who belong to a particular faith tradition. Highly devoted young people seem adept at using at least four cultural tools in ways that mark them as members of their traditions: (1) they confess their tradition’s creed, or God-story; (2) they belong to a community that enacts the Godstory; (3) they feel called by this story to contribute to a larger purpose; and (4) they have hope for the future promised by this story.
In the practice of hospitality, God sends me to strangers in the name of Jesus Christ, who calls me to recognize God’s image in them and, because we share divine parentage, to acknowledge them—in all their glorious strangeness—as my brothers and sisters. The Bible has much to say about kindness and compassion but says nothing at all about being nice. In Judeo-Christian teaching, God is far less concerned with religion than with identity and relationship: Do we know ourselves to belong to the One who made us, who loves us too much to lose us, and do we live as though this matters?
Lewis This page intentionally left blank 3 Mormon Envy Sociological Tools for a Consequential Faith Certain religious traditions in the United States appear more or less capable of eliciting serious, multifaceted religious devotion in their teenagers. Conservative Protestantism and Mormonism seem especially likely and Catholicism appears particularly unlikely to produce highly religiously devoted teenagers (all compared to mainline Protestantism). —Christian Smith with Melinda Denton Never be discouraged.