Friday, May 13, 2011

An Academic Crush

It feels a little vulnerable to put this out there in the world -- I have an academic crush. Yes, an academic crush. I get actual flitters in my stomach when I think about all the amazing work done by this woman. I find myself checking out all her books at the library, reading her blog, listening to her pod casts and thinking about doing a PhD at her institution- all just to learn from her and hear more of her thoughts. Sometimes I even get that big, silly grin on my face when I think about all the things I know and like about her. Who is she? Kenda Creasy Dean. She is courageous, wise, and very, very up to date, one sure-fire way to my academic heart,  she participated in some very large, very respectable research projects.

Listen to this woman's courage:
“Youth Ministry is as much about being the church as it is working with adolescents. If teenagers consider Christianity inconsequential- if American young people find the church worthy of “benign wateverism” and no more- them maybe the issue is simple that the emperor has no clothes, and young people are telling churches that that we are not who we say we are. If we fail to bear God’s life-altering, world-changing, fear-shattering good news (which is after all the reason the church exists in the first place) –if desire for God and devotion to our fellow human beings is replaces by a loveless shell of religiosity- then young people unable to find consequential Christianity in the church absolutely should default to something safer. In fact, that is exactly what they are doing."- Almost Christian, 24.

Dang. "a loveless shell of religiosity" That is something I often think, but she just laid it out there. Brave. And yet it is loving in and of itself, does not love speak the truth directly when it needs to be done? I think that she is delivering some very important messages about the state of the church in America. Are we listening?

Listen to her passion and tenderness of heart:
" During my years of parish youth ministry I learned that pastoring teenagers is not about 'youth ministry'; its about minsitry. period. Tending to the souls of the young taught me how to listen more deeply to the needs of people - all people- young and old alike. Ministry that addresses adolescents' most deep-seated, acted out passions touches something fundamental to being human, not just fundamental to being a teenager." - The Godbearing Life, 15.

She is theolgically grounded:

“What matters is not that young people belong to a peculiar story, but to a peculiar story about God. Christian identity is not determined by our oddity as a religion, but by Jesus Christ, who incarnation is evidence that God is not a distant, disinterested entity, but a living, invested, passionate Being who relentlessly loves us, forgives us, and drenches our lives in grace. Christian tradition maintains that the Word of God is not a text, but a person, the divine Logos, Jesus Christ.” Almost Christian, 66.

From her Amazon Page, I am not that much of a creeper.

And, in addition to all that, she just looks like she would be super-friendly! Doesn't she? I want to sit next to her on that plane and hear all about the conference she is going to or coming from. So, that is it. I have put it out there in the world: I really admire this woman.


  1. I can't seem to figure out why this is different fonts and colors. Apologies.