I’ve not yet seen The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity by Barnabas Piper, which releases today. But having spent a few years as one of 25 or so apprentices at Bethlehem Baptist Church, I’m intrigued by a book which (among other things, I’m sure) gives perspective on what it was like growing up in the Piper household. Today Jonathan Merritt posts an interview with Barnabas. Here’s an excerpt:
RNS: What was the biggest negative you experienced growing up in the Piper household? Greatest positive?
BP: The biggest negative was not connecting with God in a personal way. My dad’s view of, and relationship with, God is so big and so powerful that it looked like the only way to come to God. But it didn’t work for me. It wasn’t until I was out of college and things kind of fell apart for me that I encountered God’s grace and the person of Jesus in a profound way on my own.
Read the breakdown (reported in July 2013, the data appears to be 2011-2012).
Whether student debt loads are contributing to the decline in home ownership or not, the personal horror stories making headlines are not normative. In 2012, less than 10 percent of students completing a bachelor’s degree had more than $49,000 in debt. Only 0.3 percent of undergraduates had six figures of debt. The median debt at graduation for a bachelor’s degree was just under $17,000. (The average figure in 2012 has been reported by another source as being just north of $29,000.)
A good article in the WSJ explores the question:
This does not bode well. Since 1979, “taking inflation into account college costs for both private and public institutions have more than doubled, while median hourly wages for young people have fallen by 18%.”
Read the whole thing.
Related: The Myth of Working Your Way Through College
This documentary hits theaters this month:
The troubling decline in SBC baptisms has entered its 7th year, per the 2013 Annual Church Profile. Kate Tracy with Christianity Today writes:
According to a recent report by a special task force of pastors, the baptism drought in America’s largest evangelical denomination—which counts 15.7 million members and 5.8 million Sunday worshipers—is worst among millennials.
In last year’s Annual Church Profile, 60 percent of the more than 46,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) reported no youth baptisms (ages 12 to 17) in 2012, and 80 percent reported only one or zero baptisms among young adults (ages 18 to 29). One in four Southern Baptist churches reported zero baptisms overall in 2012, while the “only consistently growing” baptism group was children under five years old.
The task force report acknowledges five weaknesses: