Created by on 6/27/2016 8:47:27 PM
Christian Smith Sociologist Notre Dame University: Souls in Transition
Current generation heavily influenced by a new religion which he labels Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
Christian Smith exposed the sub-cultural ethos of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD) which he considers a new religion in America (exploitive of Christianity and Judaism). This outlook rules the minds and hearts of teens and young people 18-23 in huge numbers. This online article below is quite revealing and offers a serious concern for church and campus workers alike.
Something heretical lies at the level of deep structure in people’s thinking. It contains a defeater belief for orthodox Christian faith as we preach. Some think that it could be part of the explanation for the exodus (see the EFC report Hemorrhaging Faith pdf) of many teens (3/5) from the church after age fifteen. This is something to ponder and discuss: adolescents may have bought into a different religion ( a therapeutic mythology) while sitting in our pews and Christian education classes! Here’s a link. Christian Smith is a reputable scholar and expert on teen and young adult culture in North America, so he is worth attending to.
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
- A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
- God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
- The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
MTD is a revisionist faith, which colonizes established religious traditions like Christianity; it is parasitic on orthodoxy. It offers a divinely underwritten personal happiness and interpersonal niceness. Smith writes, “We have come with some confidence to believe that a significant part of “Christiainty” in the United States is actually only tenuously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition, but has rather substantially morphed into Christianity’s misbegotten cousin Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.” I’m going to look into it in more detail.
General American 18-23 Values from Souls in Transiition
- soft ontological antirealists
- epistemological skeptics
- perspectivalists (various ways to see this; mine is only one)
- in subjective isolation (my path)
- moral intuitionists (feel about a situation or decision)
- Lots to think about here. See also the Joel Osteen trend towards feel good religion that promises success--recent Christian Research Journal. ~Gord Carkner