Stephen C Meyer books

New survey: 43% of millennials “don’t know, don’t believe” God exists

A new survey reported in Christian Post. Let’s see the numbers, then I’ll recommend a solution.

Excerpt:

The American Worldview Inventory 2021, a survey of the philosophy of life on American adults from Arizona Christian University, assessed the worldviews of four generations: millennials (born 1984-2002), Gen X (1965-1983), baby boomers (1946-1964) and builders (1927-1945).

Researchers found that among other recent generations, millennials have gone farther in cutting ties with traditional Christian views and normative biblical teaching.

[…]43% of millennials stated they either don’t know, don’t care or don’t believe God exists compared to 28% of boomers, and 44% of millennials believe Satan is a real and influential, compared to 64% of boomers.

The study also found that overall, younger Americans are significantly more likely than the two previous generations to embrace horoscopes as a guide and Karma as a life principle, to see “getting even” with others as defensible, to accept evolution over creation, and to view owning property as fostering economic injustice.

On spiritual matters, Americans younger than 55 are far more likely to distrust the Bible and to believe God is uninvolved in people’s lives.

So first point about this… just as with the recent election, the first thing that occurred to me is “what are Christian parents and Christian pastors doing to counter this?” It seems like we’ve been living with this problem for some time, but we just keep trying the same old approaches. Missions trips. Hearing the voice of God. Prosperity gospel. Chasing Democrat priorities like BLM and CRT and global warming and socialism and amnesty for illegal immigrants (see Russell Moore). Youth groups filled with entertainment and pizza. Pious Reformed theology that emphasizes fideism (presuppositionalist apologetics). Young-Earth creationism of the Ken Ham variety. Fact/Value splits with no rational grounding for any of the values in fact. There’s no point trying to convince anyone of the truth, because we are in the “last days” and everyone just wants to be evil.

I attend PCA and SBC churches, and there is zero emphasis on training church people to have conversations about basic questions like “does God exist?”, “is the Bible historically reliable?”, and “did Jesus rise from the dead?”. In these churches, we have very conservative leaders and parents. Parents and pastors are “competent” if they are married, have lots of children, kids in private Christian schools, hearing the voice of God. No one is able to have conversations with atheists that are persuasive. That would be “arguing” and “arguing” is bad.

I’ve spent YEARS trying to get debates and lectures from Christian academics who debate non-Christians into the church. Not just material from apologetics organizations, but mainstream training from groups like Focus on the Family. Nobody wants to watch debates with people like William Lane Craig. And nobody wants to read any books about science or history. That would be “testing God” with our “fallen reason”. And so, the exodus of young people from Christianity continues. I have to work with the people who were born into Christian homes and who went to youth group and Christian schools – I know how they lost their faith. I ask them.

Solving the Problem

Anyway, with that said, I listened to a nice podcast from Apologetics 315 yesterday where they interviewed Dr. Stephen C. Meyer. In my opinion, no one does a better job of approaching the most core issues of the Christian faith with evidence that is convincing to open-minded non-Christians.

Here’s the podcast.

And they have an outline:

Episode 021 – Return of the God Hypothesis with Stephen C. Meyer

In this episode, Brian Auten and Chad Gross interview Dr. Stephen C. Meyer on his latest book Return of the God Hypothesis.

0:43 – Intro to Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of Return of the God Hypothesis, Signature in the Cell, and Darwin’s Doubt.
3:00 – Dr. Meyer’s background, education, and how he got interested in the question of intelligent design.
9:58 – Meyer’s view of science and philosophy of science, the importance for understanding philosophy when doing science.
16:28 – reviewing five centuries of the history of science, the false idea that science and religion have always been at war.
23:49 – The reason for telling the story of the rise of science, the rejection of the God hypothesis, and its subsequent return based on the most recent scientific discoveries.
28:15 – Explaining the methodology of inference to the best explanation. How this fits within theistic apologetics.
36:30 – Is our goal truth, or a pre-commitment to naturalism? What challenges has Meyer faced when arguing for intelligent design?
39:45 – Are there problems with postulating a mind as an intelligent cause? Are certain explanations “out of bounds” when doing science?
43:00 – Shannon information
43:55 – The origin of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, and the information in the cell. Resistance to change from a materialistic worldview.
47:40 – Huge theistic implications and the corresponding push-back to them.
49:15 – Helpful illustrations to explain the fine-tuning of the universe for life.
53:38 – Douglas Adams’ “puddle objection” to the fine-tuning argument; the response, and a counter-analogy. The weak-anthropic principle.
58:50 – How might these arguments fit into an apologetic for Christianity? The role of natural theology and the need for special revelation. The false dichotomy between evidentialism and presuppositional apologetics.

In the podcast, Dr. Meyer talks about evidence that bears on the question of God’s existence from science. Specifically, the origin of the universe, the cosmic fine-tuning, the origin of life, and the sudden origin of body plans in the fossil record. This is mainstream evidence from mainstream science that points to a Creator and Designer.

This podcast is not for beginners, it’s more for intermediate-level Christians. If you’re looking for something for beginners, I recommend the True U DVDs, which feature Dr. Meyer talking to college students.

10 thoughts on “New survey: 43% of millennials “don’t know, don’t believe” God exists”

  1. “That would be “arguing” and “arguing” is bad.”

    That’s why Trump was “defeated.” He was a “meanie.”

    The churches of today have no teeth. They do not know how to stand up to evil. They do not teach ANY cost of discipleship. It’s basically a place to hang out and be entertained and drink a mocha latte – and to be honest, the music is better elsewhere. These young people are not really questioning Christianity as much as they are questioning churchianity. And they are RIGHT to question churchianity – I do not blame them one bit. And that is in the “good orthodox churches!”

    They’ve never been exposed to the lives of great heroes and heroines of the Faith. They’ve never been exposed to good philosophical reasoning. They’ve never heard full-length sermons on Hell, abortion, gay “marriage,” divorce, promiscuity, etc and the evidence, both Biblical and scientific, for why these things are bad. They’ve never been taught to think – only to feel and to be nice. It’s really feminism that has destroyed the churches, WK. I’m not sure which category Jesus will put the Western churches of this era into, but I call “lukewarm.”

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    1. I got my first response to this Christian Post article this morning from a friend who is active in his church and attends weekly Bible study:

      “You just need to pray. You’re NOT going to argue them in. You need to love them in.
      Just think of the wheat and the tares.
      Evil will increase in the last days, and goodness will shine brighter.”

      So, I think this has been the approach of Christian parents and pastors to challenges to the Christian worldview in America over the last decades, and here we are.

      I’m not making it up when I say that parents and pastors have adopted piety as a response to atheism, because it allows them to be intellectually lazy but still be holier than people who have prepared to make a defense. By the way, the guy who sent me that reply is a high-up manager in his engineering firm. He has great intellectual ability, but he’s just chosen to focus that ability on practical things, like marriage, children, career, finances. But that intellect is not for God, as you can see from his response.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Lordy! Whenever I ask “christians” what they are doing to be a voice for the voiceless unborn and they reply “I’m praying,” I reply with this quote:

        “I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” – Frederick Douglass

        I guess all of the great missionaries should have just prayed for the harvest but not gone and put any work into it?

        You nailed it when you called it false piety. They would NEVER say “I’m just praying” if their neighbor was trapped inside of her burning home. Or about to walk off of a cliff she could not see. It’s truly disgusting and is the opposite of loving our neighbors as ourselves. It also goes against everything that the heroines and heroes of the Faith did when they were placed by God in the presence of evil.

        The wheat and tares example is abysmal. Jesus is showing us why WE do not use weedicide on the tares (kill them), not why we don’t try to love them from tares into wheat by engaging with them. That commenter talks about “goodness shining brighter” but he isn’t shining at all. He is just praying! He has hidden his lamp under a bowl. In fact, by his practice, HE is the one who is the tare that is indistinguishable from the wheat.

        His answer shows why the churches are “loving” babies to death, children to transgenderism, and women (and men) to Hell. There are so many verses and quotes that go against this. Ezekiel 33:1-11 is one you won’t ever hear in the churches, but not caring for the least of these is another. The Great Commission. Jesus used evidence and the Law to win people to Himself. The churches are too busy on “praise and worship” that is neither. But, hey, great mocha latte!

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  2. People ignore much of the gospels when they say we have to be nice all the time

    Jesus compared religious leaders to whitewashed tombs. Said they were like open Graves or snakes.

    Overturned tables of money changers.

    They would even correct Jesus because wasn’t politically correct. Had he been pc he would have submitted to the political will of the Jewish leaders, become part of their ranks and not been crucified

    We aren’t called to take the easy pc path we are to follow the word of God and spread his message of truth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I think people need to be more intellectually honest. When I was forming my view, i watched a lot of debates. I watched academic (timed speeches, academic setting, moderators, live audience) debates on young earth vs old earth, catholicism vs evangelical protestantism, atheism vs Christianity, resurrection, religious pluralism, etc. And I read books with multiple interacting authors who disagreed. This woman watched tik tok videos. Social media is not how you get to the truth about anything. Yet so many people do.

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