It’s called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD), and it has wormed its way into pretty much every aspect of western society, specially among younger generations. It has even worked its way into the church. In this episode, Bill Giovannetti, Travis Osborne, and Todd Skinner unpack MTD and what it means for today’s youth culture, and for parents who want their kids to keep their faith.
The term was coined after intensive research on the religious beliefs of American teenagers, and first appeared in: Christian Smith and Melina Lundquist Denton. Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, Oxford University Press, 2009.
This religion is pervasive in high schools and colleges across the nation. It has also embedded itself in churches and youth groups. Smith and Denton sum up MTD in five key ideas:
- 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.
- God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God isneeded to resolve a problem.
- Good people go to heaven when they die.
It is probably the biggest threat to evangelical Christianity in America today.
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