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WHI-1017 | Almost Christian

Posted by on in 2010 Show Archive
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On this edition of the program, Michael Horton talks with Princeton Seminary professor Kenda Creasy Dean about her new book Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church. Kenda, along with sociologist Christian Smith, was one of the researchers for the National Study of Youth & Religion project that surveyed thousands of teenagers over a five-year period. In her new book she observes that "if churches practice moralistic therapeutic deism in the name of Christianity, then getting teenagers to church more often is not the solution (conceivably it could make things worse). A more faithful church is the solution."

On this edition of the program, Michael Horton talks with Princeton Seminary professor Kenda Creasy Dean about her new book Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church. Kenda, along with sociologist Christian Smith, was one of the researchers for the National Study of Youth & Religion project that surveyed thousands of teenagers over a five-year period. In her new book she observes that "if churches practice moralistic therapeutic deism in the name of Christianity, then getting teenagers to church more often is not the solution (conceivably it could make things worse). A more faithful church is the solution."





RECOMMENDED BOOKS
Almost Christian
Kenda Creasy Dean
Soul Searching
Christian Smith
The Gospel-Driven Life
Michael Horton




PROGRAM AUDIO

[audio:http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2010whi1017oct03.mp3|titles=WHI 1017|artists=White Horse Inn]


MUSIC SELECTION

Doug Powell

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  • Guest - Chris Longbine

    I recently received the Into packet with the included CD's and this program was first. At first I thought it was going to be another diatribe about what is wrong with the American Church. There doesn't appear to be any lack of material in that area (especially that doesn't espouse some political agenda) and in the past I have myself taken a hearty shot at it (trying dogmatic "faith" out for a while) but have since really stopped struggling with this issue because I have so many internal struggles that I was trying to ignore. Anyway, as I was listening to the program, it got more and more interesting. I found myself saying "oh yeah", and "mmmmhmmmmm", when about half way through the program I realized (to my amazement - total shock) that she was talking about me (describing my historical sociocultural upbringing and source for current struggles). I recently turned 40 (a teen in the 80's) and have struggled with church and God and religion my entire life. Wanting a closer relationship with God but feeling like it was always just out of reach, forever asking God what it is I am not doing (just tell me that one thing). And this program was explaining why, this is what I have trying so hard to crawl out of (moralistic deism - I NEVER EVER would have called myself such a thing but there it is, that is what I have been).

    The last few years I felt like I have been playing catch-up, reading every theology book I could get my hands on (even reading early church documents and extra-biblical books which are not really all that popular and can sometimes draw a scowl from well-meaning fundamentalists). I grew up Church of Christ (West Texas), married a Baptist girl in a Pentacostal church, attended non-denominational churches for a long time until finally returning to my wife's roots (Southern Baptist) because we felt it was a better foundation for the kids (they actually teach Bible stories in Sunday School so kids learn the word of God as it is in its historical sense). I have come to realize that I never really knew what I believed (though I thought I did) and only recently decided I wasn't Dispensational (not sure how that will play out in a Baptist Church, never mind the fact that I also believe in evolution - that came from a dual degree in the biological sciences - something that helped to demolish the rather large religious building I had built on the sand of my life). I have found more in common with guys like GK Beale, John Walton, M Kline and even Scott Hahn (his Kinship by Covenant book is genius, I know he is a Catholic convert).

    So saying I am NOT Dispensational is a HUGE step for me, to actually know what I believe because I looked into the subject on a deeper level than just a single topical book that quickly touches the "ten" main points (while stating there is no other God ordained truth than the one presented by the author) or because that is what my "denomination" handbook believes and is preached from the pulpit. The process of overcoming this in my life has already been a long struggle and I am seeing that it is not going to get easier (there really isn't anyone I can talk about these things with - no personal mentors to look to, meet with - so far I have been pretty much on my own aside from books) and there are no quick fixes (which I have really been searching for). It really seems like a major disaster in the making and if God had not put an intense and driving hunger in me to know the truth (these issues and books can be so dry and boring) then I never would have sought out anything else.

    Thank you for your hard work. There are many in need. I am one of them. I want to be faithful, I just haven't known what that meant and that is one of those areas that people tend to relegate to matters of individual perspective and "heart".

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