McDowell vs. the Internet

According to Josh McDowell, the atheists are winning, and we’re using that dirty internet to do it:

Atheists and skeptics now have equal access to our children as we have, which is why the number of Christian youth who believe in the fundamentals of Christianity is decreasing and sexual immorality is growing, apologist Josh McDowell said.


“The Internet has given atheists, agnostics, skeptics, the people who like to destroy everything that you and I believe, the almost equal access to your kids as your youth pastor and you have… whether you like it or not,” said McDowell, who is author of two books on Christian apologetics, More than a Carpenter and New Evidence that Demands Verdict.

The internet: turning children into atheists and skeptics since the early 90s.

“Now here is the problem,” said McDowell, “going all the way back, when Al Gore invented the Internet [he said jokingly], I made the statement off and on for 10-11 years that the abundance of knowledge, the abundance of information, will not lead to certainty; it will lead to pervasive skepticism. And, folks, that’s exactly what has happened. It’s like this. How do you really know, there is so much out there… This abundance [of information] has led to skepticism. And then the Internet has leveled the playing field [giving equal access to skeptics].”

I get what he’s saying. I think all of us realize that using the internet can be like drinking from a firehose. There’s so much information out there that it can be hard to know what’s real. Dealing with that everyday is going to make anyone more skeptical. But is that necessarily a bad thing?

To McDowell it is. Anything that lead to questioning the revealed truth of evangelical protestant Christianity is definitely a bad thing in his book. But he’s savvy enough to realize that you can’t completely shield your kids, at least not without going full fundy. So he advocates three things, the first two are hard to argue with: live up to your own ideals and have a good relationship with your kids.

The third thing is knowledge. Christians need to “arm yourselves to answer your children’s and grandchildren’s questions.” Not bad on the surface, but the cynic in me thinks that translates to “buy my books!”

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