Friday, August 27, 2010

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

I read the Jesus Creed blog everyday. Scot McKnight brings up some fascinating topics and read a lot of very interesting books. One he has been working through lately is a book called "Almost Christian" by Kenda Creasy Dean.

I have not read the book. But in reading about the book I have been introduced to her basic thesis: (I am copying this right off of his blog. If there are blogging copywrite things I don't know about, please let me know)

Dean knows that the best description of youth faith is Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, a set of factors that emerged from the National Study of Youth and Religion (see Christian Smith's writings). What is MTD?

1. God exists, God created, and watches over the world.
2. God wants us to be good, nice and fair to each other.
3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
4. God is not involved except when I need God to solve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. That is a mouthful. I am just going to go ahead and say that I agree with her for the most part but I want to hear what you all think.

I would be very much interested in this question: Assuming that MLD is NOT what following Jesus is about, then what is following Jesus (being a Christian) about? Why is Jesus necessary? Why should people give their lives and put their trust in Jesus?

Please feel free to comment. I want to know what people think. Please also be respectful of people who comment something you may disagree with.

Just a quick note: No one ever got crucified for telling people to be nice and happy.

1 comment:

  1. I think MLD is self-centered rather than other-centered. It's about entitlement and what's deserved.

    Jesus is about the grace that gives us what we can never deserve or earn, and the power to make the world a better place despite our failings and inadequacies.