Worth Reading: Five Articles for Good Discussion

Over the past few months, I have been mulling over five different articles that I have found to be very interesting and worth discussing. The themes of the articles have found their way into countless conversations with friends and family. The articles are not very long and well worth reading. What follows are the title of each article along with a quote that I think summarizes the main point. Enjoy!

Childlike Faith: Are Kids Born with Belief? What developmental science tells us about children’s religious beliefs.” Interview by Holly Catterton Allen for Christianity Today.

“Children have a natural disposition to see the natural world as having purpose. Research has shown that children have a strong inclination to see design in the world around them, but they are left wondering who did it… If a child is exposed to the idea of a god that is immortal, super-knowing, super-perceiving, the child doesn’t have to do a lot of work to learn that idea; it fits the child’s intuitions.”

College grads, 30 isn’t the new 20: Our 20s are life’s developmental sweet spot. They matter. A lot,” by Meg Jay for the Los Angeles Times.

“Newly minted college graduates… are living with a staggering, unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Uncertainty makes people anxious, and distraction is the 21st century opiate of the masses. It’s easy to stay distracted and wait for deliverance at 30. It’s almost a relief to imagine that twentysomething jobs and relationships don’t count. But a career spent studying adult development tells me this isn’t true. And a decade of listening to young adults tells me that, deep down, they want to take their lives seriously. The 30-year-olds who feel betrayed by their 20s almost always ask, ‘Why didn’t someone tell me this sooner — like when I graduated from college?’”

‘The Demise of Guys’: How video games and porn are ruining a generation” by Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan for CNN.

“The consequences could be dramatic: The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.”

Spoiled Rotten: Why do kids rule the roost?” by Elizabeth Kolbert for The New Yorker.

“Today’s parents are not just ‘helicopter parents,’… ‘They are a jet-powered turbo attack model.’ Other educators gripe about ‘snowplow parents,’ who try to clear every obstacle from their children’s paths. The products of all this hovering, meanwhile, worry that they may not be able to manage college in the absence of household help. According to research conducted by sociologists at Boston College, today’s incoming freshmen are less likely to be concerned about the rigors of higher education than ‘about how they will handle the logistics of everyday life.’”

When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity. We’re all adolescents now” by Thomas E. Bergler for Christianity Today.

“As they listen to years of simplified messages that emphasize an emotional relationship with Jesus over intellectual content, teenagers learn that a well-articulated belief system is unimportant and might even become an obstacle to authentic faith. This feel-good faith works because it appeals to teenage desires for fun and belonging. It casts a wide net by dumbing down Christianity to the lowest common denominator of adolescent cognitive development and religious motivation… I believe one key is to renew our commitment to the church as an intergenerational family… Young people need adults in their lives who are modeling a vibrant spiritual maturity. One reason no one wants to grow up in America is that many adults don’t make their life stage look very attractive.”