The 90-10 Rule (part 4 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church 2 Comments

In my prior post I suggested two main causes for students’ diminished participation in the church: ecclesiology, and caricatures from campus (the focus of this post). On campus, the dominant portrayal of the church is that it’s guilty of being a historic oppressor and, in modern times, of excluding persons of alternative lifestyles. My response is to propose a 90-10 …

How Students Got This Way (part 3 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church 2 Comments

In my last post I shared my observations about Christian students’ lack of commitment to the church. How did they come to this position? I offer the following thoughts with a bit of caution. See what you think: 1. We forgot our ecclesiology (theology of the church). A strong ecclesiology says, in effect, there is no true Christian spirituality outside …

Understanding College Students: Church Attendance (part 2 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Church Leave a Comment

In my prior post I did a flyover of the collegiate landscape, mainly in terms of atheism and agnosticism. What I meant to suggest is that, overall, campus culture is quite secular. As for religion, it’s allowed to exist as an exception to the prevailing rule of secularism, and especially as a concession forced by higher education’s stated commitment to …

College Students: What Makes them Tick (part 1 of 4)

Rick Mattson Apologetics, Atheism, Church Leave a Comment

Church people often ask me, “What’s happening on college campuses these days? What are students like?” I usually start my reply at the macro level, and talk about atheism, because along with its softer cousin, agnosticism, it’s the most dominant view on campus. Actually, there are two kinds of atheism in the university world: modern and postmodern. Generally speaking, moderns …

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 Leave a Comment

prior post: Walking Away from the Faith Part 3: Suggestions from the Pros 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 …

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

Rick Mattson Church Leave a Comment

prior post: Walking Away from the Faith, Part 2: Angry at the Church 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 …

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 …

Church Drop-outs: Why They Leave the Church, Part 6

Rick Mattson Church, Uncategorized 2 Comments

When my daughter Kelli was in middle school she and her friends often choreographed dance routines — some rather elaborate — to their favorite tunes. A few hours of tumbling and thumping on the upstairs floors of our home would eventually lead to a big dance performance, which my wife and I took in eagerly with much applause. It occurred …