Creation Science Book Review
Book Review: Already Gone
Joe Myzia, author of the blog
Blaugmenting Your Christian Worldview
I recently read
already gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do
to stop it
& Britt Beemer. One thing I think I need to do is either
do these reviews right away (I read this the first week of April) or
take more notes in order that I can go into more detail.
Let me point out at the beginning of this that I am not a fan of Ken
Ham. Being honest . . . he drives me nuts. I just want you to know
From the back of the book . . .
If you look around in your church today, two-thirds of the young
people who are sitting among us have already left in their
hearts; soon they will be gone for good.
The fact that the church is losing a ton of its youth is pretty well
known. Numbers vary from report to report, but they are high. In
this book Ken and Britt reveal (from the back again) . . .
The views of 1,000 twenty-somethings, solidly raised in the
church but no longer attending - and their reasons why.
One interesting thing is the thousand aren't random across a
spectrum of twenty-somethings including atheists and/or agnostics
and/or people raised in liberal churches. These thousand came from
I appreciate Ken Ham's concern for the youth. Youth are who I have a
burden for myself so I appreciate that focus of this book. Another
good point that Ken stresses is the need for apologetics. On page
93, Ken quotes two passages that I think are the solution to the
problem. He quotes 1 Peter 3:15 as he stresses the need for
apologetics and he also quotes 2 Timothy 4:2-4. Paul tells Timothy
in that passage to preach the word
. Ken stresses hard that
there is a lack of teaching the Bible. Ken writes on page 123, ". .
. I firmly believe that one of the reasons people aren't living by
the word is that they aren't being taught the word." I agree with
him about this problem. Many churches teach from
Bible, but they don't teach the Bible
. What do I mean? They
preach topical series and use individual verses as launching pads
instead of teaching through the text verse-by-verse in context,
teaching through entire books so that Christians understand what a
book teaches and how that book applies to their lives. I risk really
sidetracking on a soapbox of mine, so let's stop there.
So Ken has some great emphases in this book. He points out a serious
problem. He points out good solutions. He makes one serious flaw in
my viewpoint. He absolutely mistakes the cause of so many youth
departing. Ken blames it on the church teaching "millions of years."
This is Ken's soapbox. It's a terrible one. Why? Because it's not
one of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith and many of
the greatest defenders of the faith believe in millions of years
(billions to be more accurate).
Ken writes on pp 73-74 . . .
The problem we are studying, of course, is that 60 percent of
the students who grow up in the Church have lost that connection
. . . What happened? How did we get here? I believe it all
started when the Church gave us "millions of reasons" to doubt
the Bible. The book of Genesis gives us a clear account of the
creation of the universe, of the world, and of everything that
lives, including humanity. A simple literal interpretation of
these passages makes it clear that this creation took place in
six days, with God resting on the seventh, just a few thousand
I listen to all of Ken's podcasts. He blames nearly everything
that's wrong in this world on this very point.
Ken hired Britt Beemer and his company to do a statistical study to
get the information for this book. Unfortunately, it appears Ken
didn't pay attention to the information. We're these kids taught
"millions of years" in their youth at church? Largely not.
Ken tells us about these 1,000 people on page 45 . . .
Of those who attended Sunday school, over 9 in 10 said that
their Sunday school classes taught them that the Bible was true
Only 1 in 10 said their pastor/Sunday school teacher taught that
Christians could believe in Darwinian evolution.
One in 4 said their pastors and Sunday school teachers taught
that Christians could believe in an earth that is millions or
billions of years old.
Over 4 in 5 said their pastor or Sunday school teacher taught
that God created the earth in six 24-hour days.
Only 1 in 16 said their pastors or Sunday school teachers taught
that the Book of Genesis was a myth or legend and not real
All 1,000 of these people are not "attending church" today. But when
you look at those stats, it appears most of them were not taught
"millions of years." So how can the church teaching millions of
years be the cause of their departure? It can't because most of them
weren't taught it in church!
I think the cause of their departure may not be "millions of years"
but "thousands of years." Now that doesn't speak for everyone
because the stats do show some were taught an old earth/universe
view. However, it does speak for most of them as we look at those
stats. More than 4 of 5 were taught literal six 24-hour days. The
heaviest stat in Ken's favor is that 1 of 4 pastors taught
Christians could believe in millions/billions of years. But even
that only has 250 of 1,000 being taught old earth/universe.
As Christians, we should be well-informed in as many ways as
possible. My personal opinion is that the view of a
young-earth/universe has been brutally assaulted by a gang of facts.
However, while that has happened, the evidence for Darwinian and/or
neo-Darwinian evolution has been also brutally assaulted.
Old-earth/universe does not
macro-evolution true (macro-evolution is the idea that one species
becomes another). I think this is where Ken makes mistakes. Ken
regular makes category mistakes by automatically throwing
macro-evolution in with an old earth/universe. This can, and often
does, result in "straw man" representations of old-earth Christians.
So how do I propose that kids taught young-earth creationism are in
danger of falling away? First of all, if students aren't taught
firmly that this is an area of debate in Christianity, but rather
are taught with hardcore dogmatism that the earth is young, and if
the scientific evidence becomes too convincing for them against the
young-earth view, then they may have the misunderstanding that they
have no other Christian camp to go to. Thus, they may jettison the
whole Christian worldview. Secondly, teach a proper understanding
that the Bible is sixty-six books, not one book. If a young adult
sees the Bible as one book and struggles for a period in
understanding one book, they can't throw out the other sixty-five
automatically. Remember, we couldn't always purchase a leather-bound
codex with all sixty-six books in it. They were all individual
documents created at individual times. Thirdly, teach proper
apologetics and good linear thinking in how we come to conclusions.
I can't find the page, but Ken states somewhere in the book (and
often in podcasts and public speaking events) that we believe in the
resurrection because the Bible is the word of God and the Bible
claims Jesus was resurrected. He'll do it in a question and answer
type format. He'll ask, "Why do we believe in the resurrection?
Because the Bible says so." I do not think that is the proper way to
teach resurrection and creation apologetics. Oh, I absolutely
believe the Bible is the word of God, but we don't have to posit
that to prove the resurrection. The only place we must get to is
proving that the gospel accounts and/or Paul's epistles are
historically reliable. If Matthew states that Jesus said X, then
Jesus said X. If Mark says Jesus did Y, the Jesus did Y. Proving the
divine authorship and inerrancy of these books is further down the
line in our argumentation in good apologetics.
By teaching teens in a way that they take the whole Bible as one
book and getting them into a mindset that we believe X because the
Bible says X, once they begin to have a doubt about one point they
begin to doubt the entire Bible. Once they don't believe one
doctrine, they toss the whole worldview.
By teaching teens:
- the difference between essential Christianity and
non-essential Christianity (and we can't give this lip service .
. . we can't say something is not an essential and treat it as
essential after that, and this is what Ken does)
- about ways in which Christians disagree and why different
Christians hold those views and respecting Christians who hold a
differing viewpoint than we do
- how the Bible came to be book-by-book, how it was inspired
and written down and then how it was transmitted through the
centuries to today
we can equip them so that they don't fall away from the faith if a
non-essential point is challenged. The age of the earth/universe is
a debatable point inside the pale of orthodox Christianity. Let's
not confuse this issue with an issue such as who God is or how one
is saved or any essential doctrine.
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This article was originally posted by Joe Myzia on his blog,
Blaugmenting Your Christian Worldview