Millennials and the Church (Rachel Held Evans, Hemant Mehta, and Admiral Ackbar)

Rachel Held Evans and Hemant Mehta appeared on CNN talking about why millennials are leaving the church:

I find the notion that a comparison of the subscribers to the atheism and Christianity subreddits tells us much. But the actual discussion is interesting.

On a related note, Rod the Rogue Demon Hunter offered the best Star Wars pun related to this topic I’ve heard yet. He asked “Why are all the Millennium Falcons leaving the church? Because…It’s a trap!”

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  • Erp

    I gather (and this is secondhand as I don’t use reddit) the subreddit subscriptions means nothing since I understand that until fairly recently people were automatically subscribed to the atheist one upon enrolling (admittedly because it already popular). I don’t believe this was true for the Christian one (and Christians tend to splinter so much perhaps they were off in splinter subreddits). This would tend to skew numbers.

  • Lothars Sohn

    Hello James,

    You and I know the main cause of this exodus:the absurd beliefs spawened by Biblical inerrancy.

    Or do you think it is much more complex than that?

    To the best of my knowledge, the level of true Christians in Germany and France stays roughly the same.

    Lovely greetings from Germany
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    • James F. McGrath

      The development of inerrancy was, ironically, an attempt to respond to the advent of science and critical study of the Bible, and it has had some effect on shoring up a certain kind of frightened dogmatic Christianity, but clearly at great cost.

      • Bernard Muller

        Hello James,
        How do you respond to the dilemma:
        If the Bible is not inerrant, how do you know which parts of it can be trusted to justify a Christian faith?
        Cordially, Bernard

        • James F. McGrath

          I don’t think that anyone should simply trust ancient writings, in whole or in part, to justify anything. We can use historical tools to investigate historical claims, and draw conclusions with varying degrees of probability. If something does not have sufficient evidence in its support, or is not susceptible to historical investigation, then we have to accept and live with that.

          • Bernard Muller

            But if the Bible cannot be trusted to justify the Christian faith, then what does?
            Cordially, Bernard

          • James F. McGrath

            It really depends what you mean by “the Christian faith” and what you mean by “justify.” If you are looking for some way to bypass historical study to answer questions about the past that historical tools cannot, then you are smply out of luck.

  • Mark Preece

    The only way the MSM knows to cover this story is to find a person on one side and a person on the other, and the easiest way to do that involves finding an atheist. This will shape the way we think about the issue over time. We need to keep reminding ourselves that the Christian churches are not in decline because of competition from sectarian atheists!