Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"Embedded with God's Young Recruits"

The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal reviews two books about the contemporary Evangelical youth culture. It begins
The election of George W. Bush has been a mixed blessing for the nation's 30 million or so evangelicals. Having once complained that the mainstream media barely even knew they existed, they now find themselves subjected to endless scrutiny. Their music, their dating habits, their tattoos, their food, even their beliefs--all are the focus of books, newspaper articles and magazine features. Alas, a lot of such coverage reads like the accounts of a dizzy anthropologist making his way among the inhabitants of a lost island in the South Pacific. What a strange tribe this is! Look at how they live!
The rest can be found here.


  1. An email reaction I received to the article:
    "Did you see Good Morning America this morning? They showed and then interviewed a pastor who has what they were calling a Jesus Boot Camp. It is a documentary that is coming out this weekend. It is kids--like my boys age--speaking in tongues and protesting at abortion clinics. To me it was scarier than what they were talking about in the article you posted. Yet that then raises the question of at what age do you introduce kids to the hard stuff. Young adults at least have the intellectual capacity to make their own decision, a child doesn't.

  2. I was pleased by the reviews because they were honest about the intentions of the authors. Clearly, people with a specified agenda (especially when it willfully biased against Christianity) are not as trustworthy as people who at least make an honest attempt to be objective. In so many of my discussions with people who are purportedly "objective" they fill their writings with so much propaganda that the claim is both comical and ironic, especially when they claim that Evangelical Christianity is "brainwashing" or "indoctrinating" people, and they turn around and proselytize their own positions.

    As for the portraits of young Christians, it strikes me that you will find the same sorts of percentages of "fundamentalists" and other fringe sort of behaviors from the main stream as you will in the rest of the Christian population. I don't personally believe that those types of beliefs are becoming more mainstream. If anything, the younger generation is learning about the core values of the Christian message and making attempts to apply them. In the cases where youthful "zeal without knowledge" takes over, in many cases God takes opportunities to teach people another more orthodox way, as long as people don't react poorly and shun them.


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