In a recent study among young adults, conducted in partnership with the American Bible Society and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Barna Group sought to discover how changing ideas about Christianity might be affecting perceptions of the Bible. The study found that non-Christian young adults hold ambivalent and sometimes extremely negative views about the Bible.
What’s interesting is that 62 percent of the non-Christian young adults surveyed, had never even read the Bible. Wow!
The most common words they use to describe the Bible are “story,” “mythology,” “symbolic,” and “fairy tale.” 30 percent of young adults believe it’s a useful book of moral teachings, but nearly as many—27 percent—agree that the Bible is (quote) “a dangerous book of religious dogma used for centuries to oppress people.”
Almost one in five say the Bible is “an outdated book with no relevance for today.” How very sad!
Because of this anti Bible sentiment, the Barna study goes on to say that by far, the best way to positively influence a non-Christian young adult toward God and the Bible is through “personal interactions” with people who have benefited from the Bible. This bears the most fruit.
Because today’s young adults value relationships, the best demonstration of the Gospel is living out your Christian worldview boldly, and consistently.
This actually fits with what the Apostle Paul said in Corinthians 4; “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
So this week, concentrate on positively influencing the non-Christian young adults around you toward God and the Bible, by first developing a relationship with them, letting them see your light shine. That is, the glory of Christ in you.
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16