Walking Away from the Faith, Part 5: Biblical Sexuality

Rick Mattson Church 4 Comments

This will be an impossible post. To say something about the increasingly complex subject of sexuality in a short blog is, perhaps, foolish. Here is my attempt: Young Christians such as Mary in my prior post who have friends that identify as queer, or who are queer themselves, often leave the church with a sense of having been betrayed. Most …

Walking Away from the Faith, Part 4: The Queer Exit

Rick Mattson Church 0 Comments

In the old days, sex education for young people in the church focused on boundaries: how far one could go with a partner without actually sinning. These days, things are more complicated, to say the least. Consider Mary, a 17-year old Christian high school student. Her friend group at school includes a mix of Christians, quasi-Christians, agnostics, atheists and one …

Walking Away from the Faith, Part 3: Suggestions from the Pros

Rick Mattson Church 0 Comments

I have the arduous privilege of working in the arena of higher education where young people regularly come and go from the church. Mostly go, actually (they leave). Of a plethora of studies and literature out there about the millennial “exodus” from the church, here are three articles that may be of interest: Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) Pew Research …

Walking Away from the Faith, Part 2: Angry at “The Church”

Rick Mattson Church 2 Comments

Prior post: misunderstanding the “perfection” of God leads to disappointment Research institutions such as Barna Group and Lifeway (as summarized in CT) tell us that the church dropout rate for young people age 16-24 is more than half. Some young adults return to the church later on, when they start families. Some never return at all. Those of us in campus …

Endorsements for Faith Unexpected

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Rick Mattson has written a book about struggling people who have an authentic and sometimes messy encounter with a delightful and disturbing and wooing God.  Whatever your faith background or orientation, you will be inspired and encouraged by these real life and powerful stories! – Dr. Rick Richardson Director of Academic Programs, Church Outreach Initiative and Research Wheaton College and …

Faith Unexpected: Full Description

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Faith Unexpected: Real Stories of People Who Found What They Never Imagined How did Pentagon military strategist Donald Wellington find faith in God? Not the way you’d expect – not through attending church or reading the Bible. In fact, Donald discovered faith in ways that he never expected. Or Deedra Reyes, Hopi Native American girl – how did she find …

Story Part 2: How to Read the Biblical Story

Rick Mattson Apologetics 0 Comments

A few years ago when I read the famous book pictured at left, it changed the way I approach the Bible. Robert Alter taught me to pay closer attention to the story of Scripture, that is, to the author’s intended literary elements, such as: “the minute choice of words and reported details, the pace of narration, the small movements of dialogue, …

Story Part 1: Jesus Used Stories. So Should We.

Rick Mattson Apologetics 4 Comments

In his fine book Reimagining Evangelism, Prof. Rick Richardson of Wheaton College and the Billy Graham Center reminds us of the power of story: “Jesus taught truth by telling stories and his stories still reverberate in our souls centuries later: the prodigal son, the sower, the parables of the kingdom. Jesus knew how to lodge truth not just in our heads but …