I'd been seeing a lot of press in the sources I follow about a new book by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer called "Already Gone," the premise of which is that there is something going on in the church leading to about 2/3 of young people leaving for at least some period of time in their twenties.
My wife and I received our copy today, and let's just say it's a quick read, especially for someone who's been trained in statistics. The first comment; yes, the statistics hold up; it does turn out to be statistically significant, if the data be true, that in various categories, those who attend Sunday School are actually slightly less likely to hold Biblical stands on any variety of issues. It also holds that a great portion of the disagreement by those who leave is about the issue of Creation, and that kids leave the church in middle school or high school--and simply make it official when they go out on their own for college.
Is the work Ham and Beemer started finished? Not quite; here are the statistics for acceptance of premarital sex, for example: 47.7% of non-Sunday school attenders said it was wrong, vs. only 40.8% of attenders. Statistically significant? Absolutely, but the nature of the statistics also demonstrates that there is a larger factor involved.
Hopefully someone picks it up. I do believe as well that Ham and Beemer give a big hint as to the 700 lb gorilla in the background; churches failing to help their members understand the depth and breadth of truly Biblical theology.
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