"Helping the Next Generation Think Christianly About All of life"
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Barna Group Releases Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church
These are fleshed out in the new book You Lost Me by David Kinnaman. Here is one of the six reasons:
Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity. "Younger Americans have been shaped by a culture that esteems open-mindedness, tolerance and acceptance. Today’s youth and young adults also are the most eclectic generation in American history in terms of race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, technological tools and sources of authority. Most young adults want to find areas of common ground with each other, sometimes even if that means glossing over real differences. Three out of ten young Christians (29%) said “churches are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths” and an identical proportion felt they are “forced to choose between my faith and my friends.” One-fifth of young adults with a Christian background said “church is like a country club, only for insiders” (22%)."
We need to do a better job of talking about truth in our churches. It is not enough to say that this is the right and answer and leave it at that. As Christian leaders we need to model the process of how to arrive at truth. What are the reasons we hold our views? Why are the slogans and soundbites like "that may be true for you but not for me" mistaken? Narrate the difference between false tolerance and true tolerance. We can no longer assume people (even Christians) accept the Bible as an authority; they don't. In our feeling culture, we need to recover the ability to think well--dare I say Think Christianly--about the biggest questions in life. I offer some analysis and suggestions here.
I am grateful for the work of the Barna Group and David Kinnaman for helping clarify the assumptions and questions of this generation. Learn more here.
Jonathan Morrow is the founder of Think Christianly (www.thinkChristianly.org). He is the author of Welcome to College: A Christ-follower's Guide for the Journey, Think Christianly: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture, and Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (with Sean McDowell), and contributed the chapter "Introducing Spiritual Formation" to Foundations of Spiritual Formation: A Community Approach to Becoming Like Christ. Jonathan also contributed several articles to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He graduated with an M.Div. and an M.A. in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology and is currently the equipping pastor at Fellowship Bible Church. His books have been featured on shows like Family Life Today, Stand to Reason, Breakpoint, Frank Pastore, The Janet Mefferd Show, and Apologetics 315. **This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not necessarily those of my employer.**