Almost Christian: What the faith of our teenagers is telling the American Church

Book, 2010, 254 pp
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Based on the results of the National Study of Youth and Religion, Kenda Creasy Dean's compelling new book, Almost Christian, investigates why American teenagers are at once so positive about Christianity and at the same time so apathetic about genuine religious practice.

But far from faulting teens, Dean places the blame for this watered-down theology squarely on the churches themselves.

But what is to be done? Dean argues that ardent faith in American young people depends upon churches' ability to recover a sense of mission and model ways of being Christian that go beyond self-serving spirtualities by embodying God's self-giving love for others. Dean found that the most committed young people in the National Study of Youth and Religion shared four important traits: they could tell a personal and powerful story about God; they belonged to a significant faith community; they exhibited a sense of vocation; and they possessed a profound sense of hope. Based on these findings, Dean proposes an approach to Christian education that places mission at its core and offers a wealth of concrete suggestions that inspire teens to live more authentically engaged Christian lives.

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