Almost Christian 8- Hanging Loose: The Art of Detachment

“The soul needs amazement, the repeated liberation from customs, viewpoints, and convictions, which, like layers of fat that make us untouchable and insensitive, accumulate around us. What appears obvious is that we need to be touched by the spirit of life and that without amazement and enthusiasm nothing new can begin” – Dorothy Soelle   […]

Almost Christian 7 – Going Viral for Jesus

Drew Dyck writes the following in his article “The Red Bull Gospel: Over the past year I’ve conducted dozens of interviews with 20-somethings who have walked away from their Christian faith. Among the most surprising findings was this: nearly all of these “leavers” reported having positive experiences in youth group. I recall my conversation with […]

Almost Christian 6 – Parents Matter Most

Two weeks ago my daughter, Junia Elizabeth, was born. Other parents know what the last two weeks have been like for Emily and I. In a word, CRAZY! By the way, I am typing this while holding Junia. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than holding your baby daughter in your arms! What […]

Almost Christian 5 – Missional Imaginations: We are Not Here for Ourselves

Kenda Creasy Dean begins the fifth chapter of Almost Christian with a beautiful story from Texas. It is about a high school football coach who encouraged the fans from his wealthy district to show love and blessing to a team on their schedule made up of juvenile offenders from a local youth prison. You can […]

Almost Christian 4: Generative Faith

One of the central questions the NSYR gives input on is what factors in a teenager’s life put her on a path to being a committed religious adult? It would be tempting to read a book like Almost Christian looking for the “key” to making teenagers into lifelong people of faith. If that is what […]

Almost Christian 3 – Mormon Envy

The National Study of Youth and Religion has shown that teenagers highly devoted to faith have families and churches that provide support. Specifically, this support reinforces four cultural tools that set young people firmly in their religious tradition (Almost Christian, 49): 1. They confess their tradition’s creed, or God story. 2. They belong to a […]

Almost Christian 2 – The Cult of Nice

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a guy who does campus ministry at the University of Delaware (Blue Hens for Christ). One thing we briefly talked about was how we do “membership” in our campus ministries. When does someone become a member of the Christian community on campus as opposed to just showing […]