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Almost Christian

August 30, 2010
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Author: More teens becoming ‘fake’ Christians

By John Blake, CNN

— If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:

Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of “Almost Christian,” a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.

She says this “imposter” faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.

“If this is the God they’re seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust,” Dean says. “Churches don’t give them enough to be passionate about.”

Continue reading the story

This is a great article about an even better book, Almost Christian by Kenda Dean. You don’t have to work with teenagers, or even like teenagers, for this book to be of interest to you. In short, both the book and the article are about a large survey that was done recently among American teenagers which found that while most of them thought religion was a good thing, few of them thought it was very important in their lives.

What the study concluded, in part, was that Christianity has been supplanted in the United States by a feel good religion of being nice they label “Moralistic Therapeutic Diesm.” While that may not come as much of a surprise, what may is that this isn’t an invention of teenagers bored with Christianity who are coming up with their own faith, it is in fact the faith that has been handed down to them by the church.

I picked up a copy of the book this weekend and I’m about halfway done. So far it is absolutely fascinating. I haven’t read a better observation and critique of American Chrisitianty, but I am really anxious for the second half in which they offer ways in which the church can combat “Moralistic Therapeutic Diesm”. So, whether you care about teenagers or not, if you care about the church and our American brand of Christianity, then I HIGHLY recommend picking up a copy of “Almost Christian.”

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