Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Collection Of Studies On Christianity And Young People

See J. Warner Wallace's post here on the extent to which young people are leaving Christianity, the reasons they give for leaving, and related issues. Two of the problems that stand out in my mind are parents and churches' intellectual shallowness on religious matters and their lack of apologetic work. One thing that's helpful is to ask what schools are expecting from their students and compare that to what parents and churches are expecting in religious contexts. Are we to believe that students can handle trigonometry, chemistry, and American history in high school, then go on to get college degrees and doctorates, but can't handle anything beyond an elementary school or junior high level when their parents or churches are addressing religious subjects? And it's not just a problem with young people. Most churches treat middle-aged and elderly adults as if they can't handle anything beyond a junior high level, if even that. We're living in an unprecedented information age, and the anti-Christian apologetic efforts of our culture operate far above a junior high level. We need to adjust accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. I think parents often themselves have fears about what objections would do to their own faith and conclude that it would have a worse impact on their children. Such parents don't understand that their commitment and contentment in God (and *belief* in God) is more emotion based than based on reason. Children are different. Unlike parents who have (for emotional reasons) settled on belief in God, children's minds naturally want reasons for what they believe or don't believe. Unless children are inoculated from objections to Christianity using GREAT apologetics, they will be easy prey for anyone (religious or atheist) who offers objections to Christianity. I say GREAT apologetics because simplistic apologetics does more harm than good. Since simplistic apologetics is easily refuted by non-Christians and give children the impression that Christianity really is a religion for the weak of mind and can't be rationally defended.

    Also, children never exposed to apologetics often think that the objections to Christianity they face in high school and college are new. As if Christian apologists have never dealt with them before and therefore they have the presumption that they haven't or can't be answered. Or that any future answer will be ad hoc.