Customer Reviews for

Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Must Read for parents and Youth Workers

    In Almost Christian, Dean attempts to answer this question left hanging in Christian Smith and Melinda Denton¿s Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teens (Oxford University Press, 2005): Why do so many church kids abandon religious practice as young adults? Dean blames the church, including parents, for not challenging young people with a content-rich faith that reaches out in service to the world around us. Despite the historic doctrines of our churches, we have failed to model for our children a vital Christology that impacts everyday realities. It is easy to ¿believe¿ while reducing faith to what Dean calls ¿Moralistic Therapeutic Deism¿: there is a God, and he wants us to be nice and to feel good about ourselves. This twenty-first century version of American Civic Religion serves the purpose of helping us to get along in a democracy, but it completely misses the essence of Christianity¿God becoming a human being to suffer with us, die for us, change us and send us into a fallen world to reclaim it for the Kingdom of God.

    Dean¿s solution does not start with teens. It requires transforming the faith of parents and the church community to model the vitality we want to see in our children. This book is a must-read for youth workers and strongly suggested for parents before their kids get to be teens. It renewed my vision for teaching 4th to 6th grade Sunday school. I want them to see in me a faith worth hanging onto for a lifetime.

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