Jump directly to the Content

Antidote to Juvenilized Faith

Yes, American Christians will grow up when they have to.

Christianity Today's June edition features an article by Thomas Bergler that speaks to the content of his new book, The Juvenilization of American Christianity. He dares pose this question: When are American Christians going to grow up?

"We're all adolescents now," he writes of juvenilized Christianity, a form of faith he calls "self-centered, emotionally driven, and intellectually empty."

Describing how he thinks we got into this condition, Bergler looks to the influence of youth-based ministries since World War II, the period that mirrors the years of my life. Fearful that young people might be wooed away from Jesus by a larger culture where there was serious moral decay, Christian leaders began to reform the traditional saving message of repentance and grace into one that emphasized inner peace, purpose, and general happiness—things more appealing to the adolescent mind. In other words: a gospel more aptly titled "What's in it for me right now?"

Not only did the message morph, but ...

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

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

A Plea for Pray-ers
A Plea for Pray-ers
There's something lacking in our public petitions to God.
From the Magazine
Actually, God Is Doing an Old Thing
Actually, God Is Doing an Old Thing
In an age of authenticity, we don’t need new words from God so much as we need to repeat what he’s already said.
Editor's Pick
Who Canceled the Apostle Paul?
Who Canceled the Apostle Paul?
Lessons from the first Christian influencer on how to lead when you are hated.