where we are

Christian Smith and Patricia Snell have written a book that looks fascinating. It is called Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults

at the link above you can read extended excerpts from the book and get a feel for what Christian and Patricia are doing therein. Take a look at Page 13 for an excellent example of the dominant religious thinking of the age in which we live.

“Behind many of Brad’s answers is the apparent view that an individual’s choice of beliefs–influenced by his or her family socialization, of course–is mostly what makes those beliefs true, at least for that person.”

a very subjective view of right and wrong predominates. Anyone paying attention can see it everywhere around us. it is the water in which we swim. It is our version of the world/zeitgeist/Present Age to which Paul says we are not to be conformed in Romans 12:2.

HT to Phil Ryken who has the following quote from the book and brief but on target response:

The moral outlook of many young Americans–an ethic based on emotions rather than on reasoned principles–was encapsulated in the words of one respondent, when asked to explain how to tell the difference between right and wrong:

“Morality is how I feel too, because in my heart, I could feel it. You could feel what’s right or wrong in your heart as well as your mind. Most of the time, I always felt, I feel it in my heart and it makes it easier for me to morally decide what’s right and wrong. Because if I feel about doing something, I’m going to feel it in my heart, and if it feels good, I’m going to do it.”

For more on the consequences of doing what your heart feels, consult Jeremiah 17:9.

By the way, does Phil’s quote above remind you of another quote from someone more famous than one of these young adults?

remember this?

GG:Do you believe in heaven?

OBAMA:Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?

GG:A place spiritually you go to after you die?

OBAMA:What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die.But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.
When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.

GG:Do you believe in sin?


GG:What is sin?

OBAMA:Being out of alignment with my values.

GG:What happens if you have sin in your life?

OBAMA:I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.


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