Monday, December 14

Changing Attitudes Toward the Bible

This fall, the Barna Group released research on the differences between generations and how they view and use the Bible. The study found that the younger generations (especially those who are labeled "Mosaics" - 18-25) are more skeptical of the Bible and what it teaches than those of older generations. That probably isn't unexpected by any of us, especially those who spend time on a college campus. There are many ideas valued on a college campus that can work against one giving the Bible serious consideration. Some of these are:

1. A dichotomy between science and faith and the belief of many that one can't be committed to both. This is unfortunate because I believe that all truth finds its source in God. The exploration of science just helps us more fully understand God, His truth, and His nature. Sometimes we cannot see from our perspective how the truth fits together, but I believe that it ultimately does. We need more people who are committed to God and to the exploration of creation involved in science at all levels - but especially at the university level.

2. The elevation of the kind of "tolerance" that pushes to affirm that all religious or spiritual perspectives are equally true. (This relativistic tolerance may well be the "highest value" of today's college campus.) We do need to practice the kind of tolerance that shows respect to those of other religious perspectives, but it is foolishness to believe that all religions can be equally true. You don't have to study comparative religions for long to see that they teach very different things about the nature of God, man, sin, and salvation. But our world has bought in to this view of "tolerance" so that many see all religious perspectives as equal without any exploration.

The fact is that there is much evidence to attest to the reliability of the Bible and the truths it reveals to us about God, man, our world, and our lives are unique and life-giving. We who are older need to be diligent in helping those who are younger see their world from a spiritual perspective, using God's Word to help them understand what they are hearing from science, society, and other religions. We don't have to be scared of any of those things. We just need to see them from a perspective that includes God and His Word as that by which everything else is evaluated. (Note: This where we have to be careful not to let our presuppositions become as authoritative as God's Word. History is full of religious people who let their interpretations of the world or sacred tests - or their prejudices - lead them to acts of atrocity or foolishness.)

Though Barna's study may seem bleak (and the trends aren't encouraging), there are many in this generation of students who are diligently seeking to know God through His Word - who are reading and studying and learning. I'm excited to be serving with them and helping them discover the truth of God's Word and see how it can enlighten their view of science, business, education, and more.


On a lighter note:

Here is one place I probably will never go to on vacation unless there is another way to get there.

What do you think of this list of the 20 Best TV Characters of the Past 20 Years? Any other suggestions?

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