Guest / Limited Access /

Today's top five

1.Ron Luce makes The New York Times front page
Just as Jesus Camp and Righteous are provoking fear nationwide that a bunch of freaky theocrat kids are being trained to take over the country, along comes a New York Times front page story covering Ron Luce and his claim that "Christianity in America won't survive another decade." (Actually, that quote doesn't appear in the Times, but it's the bold print in Luce's ads, which bear the National Association of Evangelicals' imprimatur. Haven't seen the ads? Subscribe to CT, you naughty freeloader.)

"I'm looking at the data," Luce tells the paper, "and we've become post-Christian America, like post-Christian Europe. We've been working as hard as we know how to work — everyone in youth ministry is working hard — but we're losing."

Luce's "data" is his much quoted claim that only 4 percent of teenagers will be "Bible-believing Christians" (or, in his ads, "evangelical believers") as adults. The Times rightly calls the claim, first promoted by Barna Research, "highly suspect" and notes that it has been questioned by Group magazine and others. Among them, Christian Smith, whose landmark book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers won a Christianity Todaybook award this year.

"A lot of the goals [of the new evangelical youth campaign] I'm very supportive of," Smith said, "but it just kills me that it's framed in such apocalyptic terms that couldn't possibly hold up under half a second of scrutiny. It's just self-defeating."

We wish we could hear the reaction to the article at the National Youth Workers Convention in Austin this week. But somebloggers involved in youth ministry are criticizing Luce as a fearmonger. New Testament ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueGleanings: November 2016
Subscriber Access Only Gleanings: November 2016
Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our November issue).
RecommendedAndy Stanley Explains His ‘Stinking Selfish’ Parents Comment
Andy Stanley Explains His ‘Stinking Selfish’ Parents Comment
‘As much as I wish folks would listen to the entire message, it really doesn’t diminish the absurdity of what I said.’
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickThe Year of Living Hopelessly
The Year of Living Hopelessly
2016 tempted us toward nihilism. We don’t have to go there.
Christianity Today
'Christianity in America Won't Survive Another Decade'
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.