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Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church Paperback – April 26, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (April 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802847129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802847126
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book is not a typical how-to manual for youth groups…. Dean offers a theological prescription not only for youth ministry but also for the whole church.”
— The Christian Century

Kenda Creasy Dean is the liveliest theologian of youth culture in the United States today. Youth ministers who read this book will see how adolescents are theological, and theologians who read this book will see why theology should be more adolescent.
— Tom Beaudoin

About the Author

Kenda Creasy Dean is associate professor of youth, church, and culture and director of the Tennent School of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is also coauthor of The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry and coeditor of Starting Right: Thinking Theologically about Youth Ministry.

More About the Author

Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained United Methodist minister and Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry. A graduate of Miami University (Ohio), Kenda and her husband Kevin taught at Ball State University before attending Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Before receiving her PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary, she was a pastor and campus minister in Maryland. She has two almost-launched children, and lives with her family in Princeton, New Jersey.

http://kendadean.com, http://ptsem.edu

Customer Reviews

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This is a very complex book written with a highly academic style and the roots of her book are based in theology.
Teofil Harii
Dean does a masterful job in her book locating youth ministry practice in theology, rather than in popular methods of education or developmental theory.
M. Cleaver
Youth can quench their thirst for intimacy only within the passionate life found within love received and given to God.
Jonathan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By William Pinches on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a nutshell: 1. Mainline denominations are having trouble reaching youth. 2. Youth are passionate people. 3. The gospel is fundamentally about passion -- Christ's passion. 4. Our churches lack passion. 5. Solution for reaching youth boils down to the church becoming passionate about the gospel.

But Dean says all this much better than I do. Listen to this (p. 25): "What if mainline Protestantism's disappointing track record with young people (in and beyond the church) has not been primarily a failure of models, educational strategies, historical cycles, or institutional support, but a failure of theology? Is it possible that the "problem" facing youth ministry reflects all too accurately a malaise infecting mainline denominations generally: a flabby theological identity due to an absence of passion? That would be ironic. Most young people come to us brimming with passion. Could it be that, instead of fanning this youthful zeal into holy fire, we have more often doused it, dismissed it, or drowned it in committee meetings? The theological challenge youth pose to the church is blunt: Are we who we say we are? Do we practice passion, transformed by a Love who never disappoints, and live by a faith so convincing that we stake our lives on it? Or are we just another sagging social convention, like Dracula, that needs young blood to survive?"

The whole book is written with that much passion. Dean argues, passionately, that if we are to speak meaningfully to youth, we must first connect the passion of Christ with the passion of youth. When that happens, the result is a passionate faith.

Care about youth? Care about the state of the church? Read this book. Yesterday.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Cleaver on August 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am shocked that this book has not received a review yet. Dean does a masterful job in her book locating youth ministry practice in theology, rather than in popular methods of education or developmental theory. She does use developmental theory to ground her theology, but it is theology that drives her book. I am convinced that youth ministry needs to become much more theological and jettison the pragmatic methods in order to become faithful to the gospel. Dean outlines an approach to youth ministry that intertwines the passion found in almost every young person with the Passion of Jesus Christ. A wonderful book that is well-deserving of your time if you are invovled in youth ministry.

Be warned: this book is fairly academic in tone and style. It has extensive footnotes and was originally written as a Masters thesis. So, this is not a light, easygoing read. But if you are unfamiliar with the academic genre, this book is worth taking the time to read. Also, Dean comes from a mainline background, so some of her references and assumptions might be unfamiliar to those outside the mainline tradition.

A worthwhile read. Every full-time youth pastor should read this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LAM on September 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best I've read on what is truly at stake and essential in youth ministry. It does come with a warning though: One adult volunteer I gave it to found it overwhelming at first read. So I highly recommend it for those in the field and in the habit of talking about these things, but recommend perhaps wading in with some other ones (maybe The Godbearing Life, which Dean co-authored) before tackling this one. But do reach that point, if you at all can.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Pirwitz on September 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Kenda Creasy Dean explores an area most youth workers do not want to go near - The passion of teenagers, the search to find something worth dying for. This is not an easy read or a step-by-step roadmap, but challenges the concepts on which we base youth ministries.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joshua D. Jones on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dean's thesis is that our churches lack passionate youth because we are not passionate about the death of Christ for our sins and his resurrection (i.e., His passion). It goes as follows:
1. The Passion of Christ shows God's passion.
2. Youth who understand this lives passionate lives that bring God glory
3. Our youth are not living passionate lives which bring God glory
4. Therefore, we must not be emphasising the gospel; the Passion of Christ as we should be.

I wholeheartedly agree with the direction this author is trying to take and welcome such a refreshing voice that believes that youth groups should be about more than pizza parties, they should be gospel centred in preaching as well as practice.

The reason I only gave this book containing this great thesis is as follows:

1. I had hoped to be able to give this book to my youth leaders, but the style is too long and scholarly. It could have been said in much fewer pages as she seems to bring up the same ideas more than once. I believe that this book was her thesis paper converted into a book. It does not easily lend itself to group reading outside of academia.

2. The author does not deal with scripture very much at all. I found this unusual since the book was calling us to theological depth in emphasising the atonement. I believe that one cannot be truly successful in developing a Christian theology for youth ministry unless the ideas are cultivated from Scripture. That is not to say I believe her ideas heretical, they are (mostly) biblical. It's just that the reader is forced to take Dean's good ideas as just that, speculative ideas. If she had interacted more with scripture the reader could have walked away with a greater confidence knowing the thesis is based on revelation and not mere speculation.

I liked what she is saying and recommend the book to those who have time to read and are engaged in leadership positions in youth ministry.
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