Those days are gone
by Marl Mittelberg
– One in 4 Americans under 30 now describe their religion as “atheist,” “agnostic,” or “nothing in particular” — and the number of people with no religious affiliation has doubled since 1990, to 15 percent.
– Young people are dropping out of church at 5-6 times the historic rate, often because of intellectual doubts.
-Books by the New Atheists have gone mainstream, many becoming international bestsellers, and anti-religion websites are proliferating.
As church leaders, we must identify and intercept entropy wherever it threatens our God-given mission. One critical area is the erosion of people’s confidence in the claims of Christianity. Call it what you will — post-modernity, post-Christianity or just old-fashioned secularism — but many people simply don’t believe what they used to believe.
There was a time when you could count on most people having some form of religious training — whether parochial school, catechism, Sunday school, or VBS — and therefore sharing some understanding of what the Bible says about God, sin and our need for a Savior. They may not have been following Christ, but deep down they knew they probably should do so.
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Those days are largely gone
Worse, many church members are experiencing slippage in their own understanding of the facts that undergird our faith. As a result, spiritual doubts and defections are on the rise, especially among young people.
So what can we do to address this entropy and lead people back to a more confident biblical faith? Here are a few suggestions…
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