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WARY YOUNG ADULTS INSPIRE PASTOR
NASHVILLE, April 10, 2008 – According to a 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 25 percent of adults ages 18-29 claim no religious affiliation. The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, believes this finding could be attributed to the oversimplified, “black and white” Christianity displayed to many members of Generation Y.
Hamilton’s insight on the intensifying pattern of youth giving up on God stems from his interaction with numerous young adults struggling to reconcile what they have always been taught with what they see. Particularly, Hamilton’s time with 26-year-old war veteran “John” led to his sensitivity toward young people wrestling with faith and ultimately motivated him to reach out to that generation.
In their discussions, Hamilton learned the host of reasons why John, a former army airborne ranger among the first to sacrifice his time and serve his country in both Afghanistan and Iraq, was not a Christian. John had prayed for the numerous soldiers under his command, and many of them were killed in battle. John could not fathom a God who would banish to hell the Jews and Muslims he had befriended during his tour. The very threat of hell seemed like blackmail to him. In addition, John was angry at the way homosexuals were treated by the church and felt that in order to be a Christian, one had to “check your brain,” thereby rejecting important ideas in modern science.
As a relevant solution, Hamilton wrote his newest book “Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White.” The book articulates an alternative approach to Christianity, morality and politics that speaks to people both inside and outside of the church who have been turned off by the extremes of the left and the right. A collection of 23 essays, “Seeing Gray” examines several hot topics pertaining to religion and politics and encourages readers to thoughtfully consider all sides of an issue and look for areas of agreement.
"This book was inspired by all of the young people I meet who have been repelled from Christ because of the judgmentalism, hypocrisy and ‘black and white’ ways that they see many Christians act,” Hamilton said. “I believe they are reacting to a certain version of Christianity they see, not Christianity itself. ‘Seeing Gray’ will give them an opportunity to think seriously about the theology of Jesus, not the actions of many of His followers.”
Hamilton admits that in the 30 years since he committed his life to Christ, he has grappled with some of the same questions as John. Through “Seeing Gray,” he hopes that many young adults will better comprehend the idea of a loving Jesus, as demonstrated in the Gospels, thereby stretching their faith and keeping them from rejecting Christ completely.
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NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Melany Ethridge at 972.267.1111 or via e-mail at [email protected]. Additional information can also be found at www.AdamHamiltonNewsroom.
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