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Under 40? Got Student Debt? Good Chance You’re Poor

About 4 in 10 U.S. households headed by someone under the age of 40 have student debt, the highest level ever, according to a study. The median debt level is about $13,000.Walter Hamilton writing for the LA Times:

College graduate heads-of-household under 40 with student debt have a median net worth of only $8,700, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center. That’s a fraction of the $64,700 the same group without college loans is worth.

They’re not  all drowning in student debt–the median student debt for this group is about $13,000–it’s that “because of the other loans they’ve taken out, the median total indebtedness of college graduates under 40 with student loans is $137,010…compared to $73,250 for their counterparts with no college debt.”

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What Are Some of the Key Issues Facing Youth Ministry Today?

A great discussion between David Plant, director of youth ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; Cameron Cole, director of youth ministries at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama; and Liz Edrington, who is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando.

HT: Collin Hansen, who has more info.

Why Do Asian-American Students Outperform Their White Peers?

Why Asian-American Students Outperform Their White PeersAt least academically, it’s an incontrovertible fact that Asian-Americans outperform their white peers (and every other ethnic group). But why such dominance?  That’s what sociologists Amy Hsina and Yu Xie set out to uncover, scouring data from two long-term surveys covering more than 5000 U.S. Asian and white students. The answer? It’s a shocker: They work harder.

There is, however, an interesting element:  ”Students from all Asian ethnic groups put greater importance on effort than on natural ability.” Continue Reading…

Cultural Engagement and the Recent Q Conference

Hunter BakerHunter Baker offers insightful reflections from his time attending the Q conference in Nashville. An excerpt:

When I look at Q, its hosts, and the young people participating in it, I suspect I am seeing the cultural stance of those who have grown up in pervasively Christian subcultures. For them, rebelling means rebelling against Massive Baptist Church or Church Related University or Clearly Wealthy Famous Preacherman. Those are the holders of power in their world. It is little wonder to them that the dominant culture dislikes us. We are hypocrites. We don’t measure up to our own standards. And we are judgmental while the secular world is more understanding. Or so it seems to them.

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Why is Christianity Losing Influence in America?

Vishal Mangalwadi, author of The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, writes:

The branding or perception of Christianity as a religion of faith, disconnected with truth, is tragic given that the Judeo-Christian tradition is the only reason why any medieval, modern, or postmodern person talks about “Truth” that can be stated in rational words and propositions (creeds or equations). The secular academy and science acquired the truth-brand only because Secularism is a Protestant heresy. The university exists because the Church was committed to knowing and believing truth. Secularism didn’t create the university. It obtained that Christian institution because, liberal Protestantism surrendered to Rationalism and evangelicalism abandoned the life of the mind. That enabled Secularism to walk away with the brand Truth. The fact is that secular atheism and materialism leave no room for rational/propositional truth. That is why Secularism is dogmatic about relativism.

Read the whole thing. It’s quite long, but you’ll benefit even if you read  just one or two sections.

Christianity, the World’s Most Falsifiable Religion

Fantastic post by Michael Patton, author of Now That I’m a Christian: What It Means to Follow Jesus.  Patton writes:

The central claims of the Bible demand historic inquiry, as they are based on public events that can be historically verified. In contrast, the central claims of all other religions cannot be historically tested and, therefore, are beyond falsifiability or inquiry. They just have to be believed with blind faith.

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Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon

Andreas J. Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, authors of The Final Days of  Jesus, discuss five errors to drop from your Easter sermon:

1. Don’t say Jesus died when he was 33 years old.

2. Don’t explain the apparent absence of a lamb at the Last Supper by only saying Jesus is the ultimate Passover Lamb.

3. Don’t say the same crowds worshiped Jesus on Palm Sunday and then cried out for his crucifixion on Good Friday.

4. Don’t bypass the role of the women as witnesses of the resurrected Christ.

5. Don’t focus on the suffering of Jesus to the extent that you neglect the glory of the Cross in and through the Resurrection.

Read the whole thing.

Perman/Chediak Author Meet-Up at T4G

Matt PermanMy friend Matt Perman and I are hosting an informal author meet-up in the lobby of The Galt House at 10:00 PM on Tuesday night (4/8) of the Together for the Gospel conference. (Note: the lobby is in the first floor of the Suit Tower.) We will have some copies of our books to give away. Stop by for a chance to win, or increase your chances of winning by e-mailing a question in advance. We’ll do our best to answer as many questions as we can at the meet-up.

Matt Perman is the author of What’s Best Next and a former director of strategy at Desiring God. Here’s a nutshell description of our books:

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Key Questions Addressed in My Book

It occurred to me that it might be helpful–or at least different–to introduce Preparing Your Teens for College from the standpoint of key questions that I sought to address in the book.  Here are seven of them:

1. What are the key character traits teens need to be successful at a college (of any sort)?

2. How can we help our teens own the Christian faith for themselves?

3. How can we help our teens make wise relational decisions and avoid the subversive influences of the wrong crowd?

4. How can we help our teens learn sound principles of financial stewardship so that they don’t become trapped in consumer debt or excessive student loan debt?

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How To Prepare Your Teen for College

I’m grateful to Matt Smethurst of The Gospel Coalition for taking the time to interview me about Preparing Your Teens for College. Here’s one of our interactions:

How do today’s economic conditions make preparing our kids for college more crucial than ever before?

College is more expensive than ever. But with regard to future earnings prospects, it’s also more significant than ever. In June 2013, the unemployment rate for non-college grads was 7.6 percent, but for college grads it was about half of that (3.9 percent). You’ll see this pattern, in good times and bad, over the last few decades. And the “earnings premium”—the additional money that a college graduate earns relative to a non-college graduate—has been steadily increasing. In 1979, high school graduates were paid 77 percent of what college graduates made; today they make about 62 percent.

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