I have done a lot of study of survey’s that show the declining trend towards Christianity, replaced by “Unaffiliated.” For the last 50 years, the biggest losses were in the Catholic and Mainstream Protestant groups. However, those have leveled out and in the last 5 years the big losses are among Evangelicals, especially among young people who were raised Christian. According to the data, many believe “Christianity is anti-science.”
It seems to me that if we don’t stop this trend, Christianity will become increasingly irrelevant. Some people say that each generation of young people has this tendency to drift away, but they come back, especially when they start having children. However, while maybe a little of that will happen this time it’s a much deeper issue. Young people are learning about evolution and science in school - especially college. It’s clear to them (unless they go to a Christian school) that mainstream science is not only not buying ‘young-earth creationism’ or even ‘old-earth creationism,’ but they look pretty foolish promoting that. Growing numbers are leaving the faith.
So how do we ‘bend the curve’ away from these losses? We need to show these young people that it is not an ‘either or’ situation - there are increasing numbers of Christians who believe in evolution and Christianity or other approaches that do not insist on rejecting evolution. BioLogos is certainly a great site for that. But even more, I think that they need to be able to find social connections with others who share those kinds of beliefs. But there are not many Christian college groups for them. Campus Crusade, InterVarsity, and most other evangelical groups cannot promote evolutionary creationism without alienating their giving base. I think there needs to be groups where they can meet, socialize, encourage each other, deepen their faith, form friendships, and maybe even find romantic relationships.
Personally, I am determined to do what I can. I have just completed a new website, scienceandfaith.org that is designed to help people who are searching for truth, regardless of what background they come from. It’s a site that you can suggest to others who are looking for more complete unbiased information that allows them to figure it out on their own. I’d love to connect with others who want to help in this kind of effort (which could include posting blogs or even collaborating/partnering in the effort) or maybe can help in the development of the types of groups that I mentioned.
What do you think about this? Perhaps you have other ideas for bending the curve?