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Adolescent Experiences of Christ's Presence and Activity in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) claims moralistic therapeutic deism as the popular religion among our youth.1 The Study of Exemplary Congregations in Youth Ministry (EYM) discovered that exemplary congregations are one's who speak about God as one who is present and active.2 The God of moralistic therapeutic deism can not be present and active. Is God present and active? If so, how do our youth experience and interpret this presence and activity? This article gives voice to the ways in which youth of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) experience Christ's presence and activity. It finds that placing their subjective interpretations of these experiences into conversation with their tradition's interpretation of Christ's presence and activity as represented by Gustaf Wingren's creation-faith enhances both how they and their tradition understand God's work in our world. The exemplar descriptor for the experiences heard among these youth is referred to as proleptic vocational recapitulation.


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