About a year ago, enormously popular “post-evangelical” blogger Rachel Held Evans wrote an essay for CNN called, “Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church.” It went viral. Since then, increasing numbers of Christians have lept to action, frantically trying to solve the problem. Since millennials are allegedly leaving the church, it follows that they are not getting what they want. In the last several years, evangelicals across the western world have had meetings, written articles, and conducted studies to discover what it is that millenials want. The evangelical community seems largely poised to do whatever it takes to entice the younger generation to attend church.
However, something is terribly wrong with this approach. In truth, a few things are wrong. First of all, it is not entirely accurate to say that “millennials are leaving the church.” According to George Barna, six in ten churched members of this age group walk away from the faith they were raised in. However, that still leaves four out of ten, and since millennials are an enormous group, that four represents a large number. Therefore, a substantial set of millennials remain in the church. To act as though millennials are absent from the pews is simply an overreaction at best, and disingenuous at worst.
Why does God allow so many of us to experience deep forms of depression to the point of despair, and how do we counsel those in our lives who struggle with the torture of the soul? How can pastors be better prepared to recognize symptoms of mental disorder and what can churches do to help those who struggle with this issue? Joining Mike to discuss this issue are Kathryn Greene-McCreight, author of Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness, and Harold Senkbeil, author of Dying to Live, and board member of Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel.
Are today’s churches prepared to handle issues related to mental illness? How should Christians help those struggling with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, or various types of learning disabilities? On this program, Michael Horton discusses this important and often avoided issue with Amy Simpson, who is an editor at Christianity Today and the author of Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission.
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” — Socrates
Only two fallacies on the docket today, but they are biggies!
I’m sure you have heard the term, “It’s apples and oranges.” Maybe you have used it, yourself. When Person A says this to Person B, it might be the case that Person B has made an explicit comparison between two things, in which case Person A believes that the things in question are not sufficiently alike to warrant Person B’s comparison in support of his case. A timely example of this might go as follows:
“Person A: How can you be against same-sex marriage? It’s like being against mixed-race marriages, which everyone knows was bigoted and unconstitutional. Miscegenation laws were repealed and so should bans on same-sex marriage.
Person B: That reasoning doesn’t fly. It’s apples and oranges.
Person A: Why do you say that?
Read the rest: Informal Logic 101: How to Think and Argue Better, Part 9
What are the assumptions about “youth” in our time, and how do those assumptions differ from what we find in Scripture? How are today’s kids ghettoized by technology and social media? In a time of perpetual adolescence, how should we form our children to become mature adults? In order to discuss these important questions, Michael Horton talks with T. David Gordon, author of Why Johnny Can’t Preach, as we conclude our series on Youth Ministry.
If you visit a typical youth program at an average evangelical church, you’ll no doubt observe a number of fun and entertaining activities. Yet most Christian teens are ignorant about the basic message of Scripture, and most statistics show that a great majority of them will abandon church after high school. On this program, Michael Horton discusses this issue with special guest Brian Cosby, author of Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture (original air date, May 6, 2012).
On this program, Michael Horton continues his conversation with Greg Koukl and Brett Kunkle about the importance of preparing our youth for a life of faith in a secular age. Not only should they be taught what they believe and why, but before they leave home, they should also be given some basic training in how to communicate their faith, and how to answer those with opposing points of view.
I’ve come to know Lewis and Adler through reading their many writings. If the writing of books tends to crystalize the author’s thinking then I—along with many others—have been the grateful beneficiary of their significant wisdom. Through their works, Lewis and Adler have been my teachers once removed.
Is your church’s youth group part of the problem, or part of the solution? To help answer this question, Mike and Kim discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary models of youth ministry with the help of Alex Chediak, author of Preparing Your Teens for College, and Ryan Roach, a youth pastor in San Diego, and creator of a blog titled,Youth Ministry Reformation.
According to the most conservative estimates, over 60 percent of those raised in evangelical homes end up leaving church at age 18. In some case the estimates range as high as 90 percent. So what are we doing wrong? Why are we failing to pass the faith on the next generation, and what should churches and parents do to address this crisis? To help answer these questions, Michael Horton talks with J.I. Packer, Christian Smith, Thomas Bergler, Kenda Creasy Dean, and others, as we introduce our new series on Youth Ministry. We’re making our extended version available free of charge for this program. To regularly recieve longer versions of each broadcast, visit the support tab at whitehorseinn.org.