Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church

by Kenda Creasy Dean. Oxford University Press, 2010.
Large almost christian

While it might be easy to point the finger at today’s youth and blame them for their lack of commitment to Christ and the church, in this book, Kenda Creasy Dean points the finger in a different direction-at today’s church and the water-downed, anemic version of Christianity that is “almost Christian.” Dean, an ordained United Methodist Pastor and Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, has drawn from her participation and gleanings of the National Study of Youth and Religion. From her research, she found that the most committed young Christians shared four important traits: they could tell a personal and powerful story about God; they belonged to a significant faith community; they exhibited a sense of vocation; and they possessed a profound sense of hope. Based on these findings, she proposes an approach to Christian education that places the idea of mission at its core and offers a wealth of concrete suggestions for inspiring teens to live more authentically engaged Christian lives. This book is an outstanding choice for those concerned with the faith of the next generation, including youth ministers and clergy, as well as parents and lay leaders. Almost Christian delivers a convicting, helpful, and hopeful message.