We've just returned from a terrific visit to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. I want to blog more about it when I've got the time, but for now I will just say that it was really, really good. I'd expected it to be good, we are charter members, after all, but it far exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to try to get some of my thoughts written out.
What I wanted to mention today, though, was a book I purchased at the museum bookstore and read on the way home. I had seen it advertised in the Answers in Genesis newsletter and had intended to order it, so I was glad to see it there this week.
The book is Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer with Todd Hillard. It is the results of a study that Answers in Genesis commissioned that targeted 1000 20-somethings who were active in conservative churches on some level throughout elementary, middle and high school but who no longer attend church. Many of us have noticed the trend that we seem to be losing the 20-somethings from our churches, but this study sought to find some of the reasons why these 'churched' kids are abandoning the church in such large percentages.
What they found was surprising on some levels to me, but on others not as surprising. One of the main things they saw as application was that the way we teach the Bible to our children is not the best way to teach it. It is something I've actually blogged about before - we teach stories, but we don't well enough connect the Bible stories to the real world for our kids. We give them moral lessons from Bible stories, but don't stress enough how those stories are real history, and how important it is to know how they all connect, and how the Bible has relevance to the "real" world - history, biology, origins, archeology, anthropology, etc. - and how what we believe about Genesis really does affect the foundation of most biblical doctrines. They also gave a lot of discussion to how important it is that we teach the Bible as history, not 'stories,' and give our kids answers for the questions of our day, the questions they are asking need biblically based answers. For more about this, read the book. It was a fascinating, disturbing read.
I wish every parent, Sunday School teacher, church leader, youth leader, pastor would read this book. I think it presents a needed warning and wake up call to all of us. It isn't enough to have a Sunday School. We need to be equipping students to know how faith relates to the 'real' world and how to answer the questions our culture is asking, they need to know the full counsel of God's word.