Many Christians who compromise with millions of years and/or evolution accuse me and Answers in Genesis of driving young people away from the church. They say that our supposedly “anti-science” (really anti-naturalism and anti-atheist assumptions smuggled into science!) stance harms the church by making generations think that Christianity is anti-intellectual and not relevant to the current generation. They also claim that we are lying to kids and that, when these children get older and realize they’ve been lied to, they will reject all of Christianity because we’ve told them that if they can’t believe Genesis, then why can they believe the gospels? But is this really true?
What Does the Research Say?
Well, research published in 2011 by the Barna Group in the book You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church, and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman, actually shows how wrong this accusation is. An article on this book and its research says that one of the six reasons that young people are leaving the church is because “Churches come across as antagonistic to science.” It goes on to say,
One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.
Now, why do these young people who left the church think that Christianity is “anti-science” or “out of step with the scientific world we live in”? Is it because they were taught apologetics by Answers in Genesis or another creation ministry? No! It’s because they weren’t taught apologetics at all! One of the graphs in the book shows that 52% of the young people surveyed aspired to work in a science-related career but only 1% of the surveyed young people said that their youth pastor or youth worker had addressed “issues of science in the past year.” Only 1%!
Today’s generation is indoctrinated from a young age to believe in evolution and millions of years through the secular media and the public school system (85–90% of students from church homes attend public schools). They are telling our young people that they cannot trust the Bible because science has proven it false. It is these people who are driving youth away from the Christian faith because they aren’t getting solid answers from their churches and parents. So, of course young people are going to see a contradiction between much of the modern “science” (really historical science interpreted through the lens of naturalism and atheism) they’ve been taught and the teachings of the Bible! But sadly very few youth leaders, pastors, and parents are dealing with this indoctrination. Very few are equipping students with the tools they need to defend the Christian faith against these ideas of millions of years and evolution. That’s why AiG is working so hard to equip the church to answer the questions that young people have!
Science Confirms God’s Word
This mass exodus of youth from the church is why it’s so vital that we provide solid apologetics material for our young people. We need to show them that science confirms God’s Word beginning in Genesis, not secular ideas about the past. We need to point out the difference between observational science (science that works in the present and is directly testable, observable, and repeatable) and historical science (science that deals with the past so is not directly testable, observable, and repeatable and therefore needs to be interpreted by what one believes about the past). We need to show these students that it’s not “science vs. the Bible” but its man’s idea about the past (an interpretation of the evidence) vs. God’s Word (the true history of the universe).
And, of course, observational science always confirms God’s Word. There are many scientific arguments from astronomy, geology, biology, and more that confirm God’s Word, not man’s ideas about the past. Observational science confirms a young Earth and universe. For example, carbon-14 can only last tens of thousands of years and yet it is found in diamonds, coal, and fossils that are supposedly millions or, in the case of diamonds, billions of years old. Observational science confirms that life reproduces “according to its kind”: organisms produce more organisms like themselves everywhere we look. Observational evidence confirms a global Flood: there are billions of dead things catastrophically buried by water all over the Earth. Observational science confirms God’s Word!
Our research from my co-authored book, Already Gone, showed that one of the reasons that young people are leaving the church is precisely because they aren’t being given answers to their questions! They have questions about science and the Bible but, instead of getting solid, Bible-affirming answers, they are getting no answers or the message that you can believe in millions of years, evolution, and the Bible at the same time. The issue of millions of years was a primary issue we uncovered behind why so many young people are leaving the church. We need to reach these young people with solid, biblically based answers!
What Can We Do?
I encourage you to use the excellent resources that we offer to equip your young people to stand on the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning. Our website has over 10,000 free articles, free books, free videos as well as a store full of helpful apologetics tools such as Demolishing Strongholds, Foundations, or Answers Book for Teens. We also have the Creation Museum and the coming Ark Encounter. These are all resources designed to help you and your young person stand on the authority of God’s Word and be able to defend Christianity from the attacks of secularists.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.