I know the title makes me nauseous and confused too! Bear with me. I was in a wedding back during the summer and the groom was more creative than average and decided to hand pick all the groomsmen gifts. My gift, a magazine! (I love magazine and newspapers) The mag is called, “Books and Culture” (If I was more blog savvy I would link it for you.) At any rate, I got my first issue yesterday and in it was a book review on the book, “Soul Searching.” Apparently, this is a book about religion in teenage culture by a well-known sociologist, Christian Smith.
In the little interview with the author this phrase appears, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. The author meansa view of god that provides a moral framework and comfort in the unknown. The author says that most of the teenagers in his research have this type of a believe in Christ. He even broadens his statements to include most of the Christian population.
This past weekend I was having a conversation with my dad driving through backwoods Mississippi. We were chatting about how most of the members of my mother’s family have fear as the over arching theme of their faith and how it is crippling my grandparents. During this conversation my dad states his believe as clearly as I have ever heard him state it, and he describe what this author calls Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. After reading this article and reflecting on the conversation with my dad, I can see how this view of Christ is very popular in the church. As I have thought about it repeatedly the past two days, it makes me very sad and angry that Christ has been reduced to a Moralistic Therapeutic deity.