Russell and Duenes

You shall teach them diligently to your children

with 5 comments

Mark Spencer in The Coming Evangelical Collapse writes,

We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we’ve spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.

I believe he is painting with a bit too broad a brush here, but most of it jibes with my experience in the church and in Christian education. I must confront it now as a father. Everyone who takes Spencer’s indictment seriously must be asking themselves the question: What, beyond the “usual suspects” of “Hollywood,” rock music, video games, family breakup, peer pressure, and “soft on the gospel” churches, accounts for this reality? It seems too easy to say, “Well, the parents just don’t care/ aren’t training them right.” But why? I’m particularly interested in thinking through the “education” and “youth ministry” angle here. I’d love to have people weigh in on this.

(For further discussion, see “Cultural Velocity,” and Spencer’s series of posts under the same title.)

– D


Written by Michael Duenes

March 12, 2009 at 11:09 pm

5 Responses

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  1. But at least he can still sell a book about it.

    Andrew Gray

    March 13, 2009 at 12:22 am

    • I don’t know if he’s written a book. The quote above is taken from an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor.


      March 13, 2009 at 2:20 am

  2. A major portion of this problem is due to the “mirroring” of secular culture. For the Christian young person “fun” is emphasized. The music is only different due to the occasional “God” reference and the media (and by this I mean all types) have painted the Christian young person as a back-water buffoon who is brainwashed to believe in talking snakes and a magic man who walked on water and responds to all of our thoughts. This is creating a generation of indifferent, apathetic, selfish people who want to hedge their bets on Christianity rather than the possibility that there is a hell and they are going to it. One asks Jesus into their “hearts” and then lives like Caligula.



    March 13, 2009 at 3:38 am

  3. Let’s read something original rather than you reposting from newspapers and blogs. What do YOU have to say.

    Albert Camus

    March 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

  4. Thanks for the suggestion. I hope to write more, but me and my associate would really like to do more on the podcast end of things. So we’re trying to put more time into that, slow-going though it may be sometimes. Being a full-time teacher, I don’t always get the time to sit down, think, and write as much as I’d like. But I’ll take your advice to heart. Thanks.



    March 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm

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