How Can We Instill a Faith that Endures?
by J Warner Wallace
My colleague at Biola University, Robert Marriot, recently wrote a book entitled, A Recipe For Disaster: Four Ways Parents and Churches Prepare Individuals to Lose Their Faith And How They Can Instill a Faith That Endures. Given that this topic is near and dear to my heart, I asked him to answer a few questions about his research. His answers were revealing and important:
J. Warner: What motivated you to write this book? Why was this topic so important to you personally?
Robert: I was motivated to write the book because of what I discovered while doing research for my doctoral dissertation. In 2013 I was doing a PhD on the ethics of Buddhism. One night while I was online doing research I stumbled across a website that hosted hundreds of stories posted by former Christians concerning their loss of faith. Although it had nothing to do with my doctoral research I decided to give it a look. The more I read the more intrigued I was. Pastors, missionaries, worship leaders, seminary students and Bible college professors were all represented among the deconversion narratives. The stories were so captivating to me that I eventually decided to turn my attention away from Buddhist ethics and focus on deconversion from Christianity as the subject of my doctoral research.
As I continued to research deconversion stories I realized that the number of individuals who once identified as Christians but who now no longer do is both large and increasing. As you are aware, the statistics are quite shocking…