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9 Responses to “Halfway Home?”

  1. John Seel says:

    This is an excellent article. We all know young people who fit these categories. Many are our children. This is a huge opportunity for the church and one in which Kinnaman and Metzger can provide important leadership that is long overdue.

  2. Dave Thom says:

    Read a study recently suggesting that youth are not in our churches – whether they grew up in the church or not – because of two things: 1.) they’ re not married, and they’ re shacking up, and people in church are all married and look down on the cohabitors; and 2.) in their relative financial downside either via a low paying job thanks to no advanced education or because of still being young and underpaid in the market – they’re not in church because church people are doing well financially (older and married) and the poor don’t like being looked down upon by the rich. A double-whammy effect you might say. In sum, it’s not so much a world-view issue as it is a class issue. When I think about young people I know, this is so true. The only exception seems to be the truly devout who are celibate or married, and come even though their poor. But they’re not “seekers” or on the fence, they’re probably more devout than the marrieds. So in the long run, it’s the inability of the church to express a welcome to cohabiters – which is provable enough as a critical issue because the church can’t seem to express a legitimate welcome to homosexuals either. Once I read that report I felt a great deal of shame on behalf of the church: we’re trying to win them with world-view, philosophy and theology and they just need to feel the freedom to come as they are – but we don’t extend that invitation. I’m not saying we don’t preach the truth, but I’m saying that the way we do it seems to be halting our progress in being an inviting place.

  3. Ronnie Metsker says:

    Great thoughts. Well put. I would that all believers who are interested in being salt and light, influencing our communities for Christ could read this and absorb it. As the men of Issachar: We must understand the culture, and then use the culture to reach the culture. Your article is helpful in all three.

  4. Larry Dyer says:


    As King Solomon wisely said, … “there is no new thing under the sun.”

    And here we go again with “another generation.”

    God gives us a great example of the “same old problem” from the Old Testament just after Joshua had died:

    Judges 2:10-12 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

    Today, trace it to a simple “unfaithfulness” of Christian’ ministers” in preserving the 7 mysteries revealed in Scripture from a King James A.V. 1611 Bible. And here they are:
    (1) The Incarnation of Christ ie. God was manifest in the flesh (ITimothy 3:16) (2) the Indwelling Christ (Colossians 1:27) (3) the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:32, 3:1-5) (4) the Blindness of Israel (Romans 11:25) (5) the Incarnation of Satan (II Thessalonians 2:7) (6) the Rapture (I Corinthians 15:51) (7) Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:5) If every Christian pastor or preacher had been faithful in preserving these “mysteries”. we would not be in the mess we are today. (The Catholic Church doesn’t even mention the last three).

  5. Byron Borger says:

    Don’t know if any of your Baltimore area readers would find this interesting, but we at Hearts & Minds will be sponsoring an evening with Kinnaman to talk about “You Lost Me’ on Tuesday night, October 25th at 7:00 pm. It will be hosted at Living Word Community Church (Rt 24 near Red Lion, PA) just a mile from a store (just a few miles off of Rt 83 just South of York, PA.) So you could come up and hear him out and have a change to interact with his ideas. Thanks for writing about him. As always, good work, Mike.

  6. Mike Metzger says:

    Byron – thank you for mentioning this. Always happy to champion your work, as well as David Kinnaman’s. I hope Baltimore area readers come to hear Kinnaman (and meet you). Thanks again.

  7. Tim Patterson says:

    Here’s another take on why young people have left the church – inadequate answers in churches regarding the issue of evolution.

  8. Carl Creasman says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I find the situation quite, well, it fits our times and yet it feels like one of the deepest challenges to our faith, maybe ever. It’s as if we are at a reverse moment from Constantine’s conversion—then, the Church was the cult outsiders and the Emperor opened a door to legal standing. Before long, the normal religion was displaced and anyone who really felt an allegiance to Jupiter and the rest of the gods was basically barred from normal life. One had to become a Christian. Now, 1700+ years later, it’s going the other direction. And, if you read Barna’s reflections about the report in general (based on the book), the 5 major reflections are the types of things one says “hmm, well I can see their point, BUT, what they feel unhappy with are things God has said to do or think or feel.”

  9. Mike Metzger says:


    With all due respect, the problem for the faith in exile is plausibility, not propositions about creation or arguments against evolution. Facts, whether they purport to support creation or evolution, only make sense – are plausible – inside frames. Thus, the issue in exile is plausibility, or our frames for reality – our assumptions about what is real.


    Good insights. The Barna report underlines my comments to Tim. Of course God has spoken about all these issues, but he does so inside a particular frame for reality. When a culture or people no longer shares that frame, the facts no longer are plausible.

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