Some ostensible Christians — theoretically trying to ‘help’ believers get along in a world filled with materialists, secularists, and others who worship at an altar of scientism — have noted the phenomena of Christian youth growing up in the church but leaving for more intellectually fulfilling (some say honest) thinking as soon as they reach the state university and encounter more enlightened ideas.
Such ‘supporters’ contend that those stories of Adam & Eve, Noah and the ark, a catastrophic flood and the like are good for kids and were good for everyone when, well, people were a lot more ignorant. Now that we are all more learned in the ways of Carbon 14 dating and proving evolution by testing its validity in the laboratory (oops), those stories serve no more purpose. Forcing our Christian young people to defend such silliness is what turns them away from the faith.
The solution, then, is to retain the kernel of the gospel and yield the ground of fanciful stories of God’s creation of the cosmos in six days to the obviously superior creation myths propagated by the likes of Stephen Hawking and the Big Bang Theory.
This all sounds fairly reasonable, I suppose, to those who want to retain some measure of respectability in the world.
But this thinking ignores a very fundamental issue: how is the story of God becoming flesh, living relatively incognito among men, letting himself be killed for the sins of those he created, and rising from the dead, any LESS fanciful than that of a worldwide flood?
To yield ground to the materialistic in the areas of earth-age, life-origins and long-earth geological formations, but to attempt to hold the center of the death, burial and resurrection of the God-man is not just a little bit addled. And don’t think for a moment that the materialist does not recognize this.
What giving up the supernatural — whether creation or the substitutionary atonement — does is evacuate the gospel of its power. Rather than gain respectability in academia, such a move loses more.
Rather than encourage our believing youth to jettison those features of the faith the pagan thinking world finds silly — or resignedly permitting them to jettison the faith entirely — the church should instead teach them why they are true, and instruct them on how to defend them. Not only that, we should also prepare every believer to discern and point out the errors in problematic thinking that many in our world are now accepting with a religious fervor akin to that held by flat-earth proponents, some of which were, interestingly, ‘intellectuals.’