A Teenager’s Faith?

I am a rural Lutheran pastor who read your article “The Adult Gospel” [by Larry Poston] in the August 20 issue of CT. I think you hit the bullseye in terms of the problems Christianity faces. The observation that Christianity appeals to a teenage mindset is correct (I got excited about the faith at age 16). You seem to point out that Christianity likes to keep people at a teenage level of faith. Thus, Vietnam veterans or people who have lived “seasoned” lives have two options: accept the teenage frills and thrills of entertainment evangelism or fall into cynicism.

You’ve put your finger on the pulse of a hot issue: the area of “practicality,” which speaks of an Old Testament—rooted faith and so opens a “Pandora’s box” of the basic immanence and transcendence natures of God and God’s daily action. I read your conservative colleagues, apologetically (or defending fiercely) the transcendent Hellenistic notion of a supernatural, intervening idea of God. Scholars who call these assumptions about God’s transcendent nature to task are labeled “liberal.” I submit that if we would stress the immanence side of Christianity rather than a Hellenized version of a God [who] comes out of the sky [to meet our needs miraculously], we’d have a more practical, workable faith that appeals to a wider and older group of people.

Rev. David Coffin

Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA)

Malinta, Ohio

Having taught personal evangelism in Bible college for ten years and now working specifically in the field of child evangelism, my study and experience validate several significant points in this article. While it is true the vast majority of ...

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