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 ...1