The Juvenilization of American Christianity

New from Eerdmans (and having arrived for review), this:  The Juvenilization of American Christianity.

Pop worship music. Falling in love with Jesus. Mission trips. Wearing jeans and T-shirts to church. Spiritual searching and church hopping. Faith-based political activism. Seeker-sensitive outreach. These now-commonplace elements of American church life all began as innovative ways to reach young people, yet they have gradually become accepted as important parts of a spiritual ideal for all ages. What on earth has happened?

In The Juvenilization of American Christianity Thomas Bergler traces the way in which, over seventy-five years, youth ministries have breathed new vitality into four major American church traditions — African American, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, and Roman Catholic. Bergler shows too how this “juvenilization” of churches has led to widespread spiritual immaturity, consumerism, and self-centeredness, popularizing a feel-good faith with neither intergenerational community nor theological literacy. Bergler’s critique further offers constructive suggestions for taming juvenilization.

My exceptionally brief review (more of a short note really) is here.

7 thoughts on “The Juvenilization of American Christianity

  1. Brian Fulthorp 17 May 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I so want to read this book…

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  2. Nelson Moore 17 May 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Wow, what an interesting looking book. Thank you for calling attention to it.

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  3. Marc Regier 17 May 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Intergenerational community? I sure hope he’s done his thorough homework into more than 75 years of church history to prove that this isn’t just a bit of pastoral nostalgia (historical idealism).

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    • Jim 17 May 2012 at 6:11 pm

      maybe you should read the book before you review it.

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  4. Jeremy 17 May 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks for this mention. This looks very important.

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  5. […] In contrast, Jim West offered an “exceptionally brief review (more of a short note really)” of Juvenilization on his Zwinglius Redivivus blog. […]

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  6. Rob 4 Jun 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Oh, boy. This book is going to light some fires. Buckle up, folks.

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