The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy

Loyola Press

Colleen Carroll

Central Theme
There is a massive turning of the tide among young adults towards orthodox expressions of the Christian faith.

Colleen is herself a young adult and journalist, who noticed that what she was reading about the spiritual journey of her generation bore little resemblance to what she actually saw in her generation. The press described them as fickle and “seeking for seeking sake” and usually looking for answers outside organized religion; she saw a determined intentionality, leading to serious, life-altering commitments to Jesus through orthodox church structures. Armed with a one-year grant to study the phenomena she came back with statistics and amazing first-hand stories of a move towards deeply devoted followers of Jesus Christ among her generation.

Beliefs num
–Often it is the ¢â‚¬Ëœbrightest and the best’ who are turning to Jesus Christ
–They are in ea revolt against relativism and are looking for firm guidelines for faith and practice.
–They seek a worldview that challenges culture and satisfies their own concerns and questions.
–There is a strong intellectual element in much of this movement as evidenced by Lumen Christi, Veritas, and Harvard’s Jesus Week.
–They yearn for mystery in a religious tradition and often find a ¢â‚¬Ëœromance’ in orthodoxy.
–They seek guidance and information from legitimate sources of authority.
–They strive for personal holiness and look this in community.
–They are involved in a sexual counter-revolution.
–They want to impact the larger culture through their service, sacrifice and commitment.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–How widespread do you think this movement is?
–Does this fit the young adults you know?
–Why would a young adult turn to an established religious tradition?
–Why would a severe and serious commitment appeal to this generation?
–What impact has the popular media had on this generation?
–How would you compare the Catholics and Evangelical Protestants of this generation?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Many Americans and many Catholics of the generation that reared these students regard the confession of sins to a priest as superfluous, the neurotic act of guilt-ridden traditionalists.
–There’s something there, in our hearts, we know the truth. And this holds the truth. It’s not fluff. It’s real.
==Lori Agnew on discovering the essence of the church.
–It’s a massive turning of the tide.
==Peter Kreeft, Boston College philosopher on the trend towards devout faith.
–According to a 1997 Gallup poll, nearly 80% of teens thirteen to seventeen considered religion a significant influence on their life.
–The kids I see are more intellectually serious. That generally means they’re more attracted by the weighty religious traditions. And there’s a new recognition that religion is not just superstition or the refuge of the ignorant.
==Leon Kass, bioethicist, University of Chicago.
–When the word ¢â‚¬Ëœorthodoxy’ is used here it means the Apostles Creed as understood by everybody calling himself Christian until a very short time ago and the general historic conduct of those who heed such a creed.
==G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908).
–If you want to change the world, what you usually do is go for the best people.
==Fr.C. John McCloskey, Opus Dei.
–Our hearts were made for you, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.
==Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
–The two primary threats to this movement are isolationism and assimilation. Catholics tend towards isolationism and evangelicals, in their quest to be relevant, are threatened by assimilation.
==CO on DSS.

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