Almost Christian: Going Viral for Jesus

I’m blogging through Kenda Creasy Dean’s new book, Almost Christian, a theological follow up to Christian Smith’s Soul Searching. I hope you’ll join me. Find all the posts here.

In chapter 7, “Going Viral for Jesus: The Art of Testimony,” Kenda begins by tackling three of the questions that I heard voiced after Soul Searching came out.

First: Maybe the teens interviewed by the NYSR were just uncomfortable talking to adults about their faith.

Second: Maybe teens are deeply religious but just talk about it differently than the adult researchers wanted them to.

And third: Maybe teens are just generally inarticulate, but still deeply religious.

Kenda acknowledges that any of these is potentially valid (even devastating) criticism of the NSYR.  However, she counters that there were, in fact, many teens in the NSYR who could clearly articulate what they believed and why.  So, she writes, it is possible for a teen to be deeply religious and articulate about religious matters.

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Almost Christian

That’s the title of Kenda Creasy Dean’s new book, a theological follow up to Christian Smith’s Soul Searching.  My endorsement of it reads,

“A lot of youth workers have been a bit depressed since the National Study of Youth and Religion revealed what we’d long suspected about American teen religiosity: it’s pretty darn benign. But in Almost Christian, Kenda Creasy Dean helps us turn the corner from the moralistic, therapeutic deism that afflicts our churches to a hope-filled, consequential faith that has the potential to change the lives of young people and, with a little help from the Holy Spirit, just might transform our world.”

I’m gonna blog through this book, and I’d love to have some readers join me as we go through it.  If you’re interested, pick up a copy of Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church.