Moral Therapeutic Deism – You Lost Me (A Sidebar)

I’ve been slowly blogging through David Kinnaman’s book You Lost Me which analyzes the reasons why so many young people either wander away from faith completely, put faith on hold for a time, or feel disconnected to faith while still being in the church. ¬†One of the reasons given is that Christian faith is shallow. […]

Souls in Transition – Conclusion

The final chapter of Souls in Transition serves as a summarizing conclusion. First of all, we must recognize that emerging adulthood is a new phase of American life between adolescence and adulthood. It is a phase of life filled with “disruptions, transitions, and distractions” (280). Applied to campus ministry, we are reminded that college students […]

Souls in Transition – Does Religion Make a Difference?

Does religion matter when it comes to how emerging adults live? Does your religion make a difference in your everyday choices? This is the theme of the ninth chapter of Souls in Transition. In previous chapters emerging adults had been divided into religious groups: conservative Protestant, mainline Protestant, black Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, other religion […]

Souls in Transition – How does College affect Spiritual Life?

Does going to college cause Christians to walk away from their faith? To many people this seems like a question whose answer is a foregone conclusion. It is widely believed that university education is detrimental to religion. Christian parents fear what will happen to the faith of their children when they go away to college. […]

Souls in Transition – Hooray for Parents!

I cannot remember not going to church as a child. My parents took me to church ever since I was born. I was involved in Sunday school, Wednesday night programs and anything else they took me to. When we switched churches, I was about ten, my parents kept me heavily involved. I never complained, I […]

Souls in Transition – Real Life Change?

Souls in Transition is a study of emerging adults, ages 18-23, and serves as a sequel of sorts to Soul Searching which studied the same group of young people when they were 13-17 years old (and which I have not read). This has allowed the researchers to see how specific people have changed over time […]

Souls in Transition – Six Types of Emerging Adults

Saying things like “most emerging adults are leaving religion” or “many emerging adults are spiritual” are dangerous generalizations in their vagueness. The truth is that all emerging adults, all people, are unique. Therefore, while Smith and Snell in the sixth chapter of Souls in Transition illustrate six major religious types of emerging adults, they do […]

Souls in Transition – Moral Therapeutic Deism

Moral Therapeutic Deism (MTD) was found to be the best description of the religion of American teenagers in Christian Smith’s previous study, Soul Searching. MTD consists of five key beliefs: (1) a God exists who created the world and watches over human life; (2) God wants people to be nice, good and fair to each […]

Souls in Transition – Role of Campus Ministry in Lives of Emerging Adults

The fourth chapter of Souls in Transition is loaded with statistics! Smith and Snell trace the changes that occur as teenagers move into young (emerging) adulthood. Reading through the chapter a pattern appears. First, three groups see little decline in numbers, and perhaps in some areas a growth in commitment, during these years: evangelical Protestants, […]

Souls in Transition: Historical Perspectives and some Sociology

One of my favorite classes when I was a student at Penn State was Sociology of Religion with Roger Finke. He was a knowledgeable and likeable professor who taught with a passion. I enjoyed the class and Dr. Finke so much that I ended up asking him to write one of my recommendations for seminary! […]