Young Adult Faith

From New York Time’s columnist David Brooks:

There is a strong vein of hostility against orthodox religious believers in America today, especially among the young. When secular or mostly secular people are asked by researchers to give their impression of the devoutly faithful, whether Jewish, Christian or other, the words that come up commonly include “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” “old-fashioned” and “out of touch.”

 It’s not surprising. There is a yawning gap between the way many believers experience faith and the way that faith is presented to the world.

He goes on to discuss the different expressions of faith that do resonate with young adults — many of them paradoxes like the title of his column, “Alone, Yet Not Alone.” One example being Catholic singer/song writer Audrey Assad. Share Brooks’ column and one of Audrey’s songs, “I Shall Not Want,” with young adults and have a conversation about the paradoxes you see in your own faith and what expressions of faith most inspire you:

  • What are the paradoxes of faith that you identify as having meaning in your life? (Think about the examples from Brooks’ column — alone, yet not alone; fervor and doubt; clarity and confusion; empathy and moral demand.)
  • How have you wrestled with these — and what do you still wrestle with?
  • Who serves as an example to you when you think about the challenges and great rewards of living a faith-filled life?