Christian Smith and Melinda Denton, principal investigators for the National Study of Youth and Religion, say that a new faith has infected American churches, a faith they describe this way:
"A significant part of Christianity in the United States is actually only tenuously Christian in any sense that it is seriously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition, but has rather substantially morphed into . . . Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism."
According to Christian Century writer Kenda Creasy Dean,
"If teenagers wrote out the creed of this religious outlook, it would look something like this:
• A god exists who created and orders the world and watches over life on earth.
• God wants people to be good, nice and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
• The central goal of life is to be happy and feel good about yourself.
• God is not involved in my life except when I need God to solve a problem.
• Good people go to heaven when they die."
Read Kenda Creasy Dean's important review of this study of American religious youth.