Zwinglius Redivivus

Fighting the good fight and running the race.

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.

Written by Jim

22 May 2012 at 5:11 pm

7 Responses

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  1. I so want to read this book…


    Brian Fulthorp

    17 May 2012 at 12:23 pm

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


    Nelson Moore

    17 May 2012 at 3:38 pm

  3. 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).


    Marc Regier

    17 May 2012 at 6:10 pm

    • maybe you should read the book before you review it.



      17 May 2012 at 6:11 pm

  4. Thanks for this mention. This looks very important.



    17 May 2012 at 7:43 pm

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


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



    4 Jun 2012 at 8:46 pm

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