Wednesday, October 15, 2008


In his book unChristian, David Kinnaman states that "We are learning that one of the primary reasons that ministry to teenagers fails to produce a lasting faith is because they are not being taught to think."

This was a major failing of my church upbringing. For teenagers, thinking was discouraged like the plague. The lack of commitment to thinking, I think (there's that word again) went along with the path to salvation, the one that went like this: Confess, repent, accept Jesus/get baptized, livetheChristianlife.

This livetheChristianlife concept was the reason I loved Steve Taylor's "I Want to Be a Clone" so much.

"I've learned enough to stay afloat/But not so much I rock the boat"

The idea was that too much thinking would upset the faith altogether.

I figure that our God, who CREATED us, can withstand some critical thought. I once told a teenager who had some doubts that his God wasn't big enough. Our God *is* big enough, and if we can really, really think, it can help us find more and more gems in scripture.

This isn't to say that a simply intellectual approach is all that is needed. But it cannot be ignored.


Amy said...

So true. I realize that growing up in church told me WHAT to think, but not HOW to think. It's just so black and white to some churches, and life is in technicolor.

Nate said...

YAY! I love when i'm doing something right kind of by accident.

this was how I was taught in college. Taught HOW to think about my christianity. Then I get to seminary and was told WHAT to think by a certain prof that brian and I love so well. Didn't like that very much.

so now... guess what i'm teaching youth. I'm teaching them HOW to think about their faith. LOVE IT!