Made by Brett Kunkle of Stand to Reason, and posted by the Pugnacious Irishman, Rich Bordner.
And Rich writes:
I know what you might be thinking: “this guy is a bit over the top. C’mon! ‘Who’s waiting for our kids.’ This is just scare tactics.”
Don’t write Brett off. He works with youth and has a circumspect angle that gives him a lot of insight into the state of youth in the church. Also, I can vouch for the atmosphere of the college campus. Lastly and most importantly, take a look at the stats (some of which he references). If that doesn’t convince you he’s not hyping things up, nothing can; he has sociology research backing him up.
The first link takes to you to another post by Rich which details Brett Kunkle’s activities, and features a letter from a 17-year-old student that Brett trained, before taking him to the University of California at Berkeley to test out his skills.
Here’s the letter:
It’s a beautiful thing when two high school clubs of opposing viewpoints can come together and debate issues in a public setting and in a friendly manner. It is also quite rare. However, this is exactly what happened just three and a half weeks ago at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools. It all started with a trip to U.C Berkeley.
In the fall of 2008, twenty-four students from Capistrano Valley Christian Schools began training with CVCS’s Sean McDowell and STR’s Brett Kunkle. These training sessions were vigorous and challenging but worth more in each of our lives than any words could express. On March 10, 2009, we embarked on an intellectual and spiritual journey that totally “rocked our worlds.” After debating atheists and interviewing Berkeley students on topics all over the board, we returned as different people. This spiritual and intellectual roller coaster was the best time of my life, as it was for many other students. I saw my friends gain confidence and stability in their faith but most importantly, I saw high school kids gain a passion for what they believed.
After Berkeley many kids wanted to keep making a difference in the world. I began a club that was simply known as the “Berkeley Group,” for anyone who had attended the trip and wanted to keep being involved in apologetics. One night I was on the phone with another club member, Suzie, attempting to plan things for our group to do. We wanted to put on an event to get high school kids excited about apologetics. We decided that a student debate would be an amazing draw for a young audience. We partnered with the Free-thinking Atheist and Agnostic Kinship (FAAK) student club from Capistrano Valley High School and decided to charge admission for the event, which we would donate to charity. We began to plan.
After many meetings with Mr. McDowell and much communication with FAAK, we decided to discuss three topics related to God’s existence: intelligent design, morality, and the resurrection of Jesus. With the stage set for an intense spectacle, publicizing began in earnest.
From our Berkeley club, Steve took Intelligent Design, I took morality and Christie took the resurrection of Jesus. After a few weeks of additional preparation for each category, we were ready for the debate! The format of the debate was a five-minute opening statement for each side, a five-minute cross examination and 20 minutes of question and answer time with the audience. Lastly, there was a final three-minute closing statement from each side. The auditorium was packed as more than 300 students and adults attended the event. The feedback from the debate was overwhelmingly good and our Apologetics Club is looking forward to similar events next year! I guess the final point I can make on this subject is that Berkeley prepared us and began a movement in our school’s students that will last for years to come. As Brett told us on the trip: “The Berkeley Mission is normal Christianity.”
Berkeley is one of the most left wing campuses in the world, in probably the most left wing city in the the world. It’s Hell on Earth. But these kids had trained and they were prepared to face the worst. That’s Christianity in action. So often today I see older Christians acting like there are no intellectual problems that need to be addressed, or focusing on minor theological issues or ineffective insular legalism. Instead, we should be preparing to engage the culture like this 17-year-old student. And we should be hiring youth pastors like Brett Kunkle – not like Brian MacLaren!
Anyway, Rich is himself is a public school teacher who is very familiar with these issues! I’m so glad that he knows about the need for apologetics to prepare children before they go off to university. If you like stories like this, you should definitely bookmark Rich’s blog.