Well … sort of. What we did do was invite GodQuest author Sean McDowell to come speak to our youth group and role-play an atheist. You may be thinking, “What…?” But, you see, our teens had just finished the six-week GodQuest series. The six-week study helped them explore important questions like does God really exist, did He create the world, can we trust the Bible, why does God allow pain and suffering, and is Jesus really the only way to heaven? Our youth pastor wanted to finish the series by helping his teens prepare for some of the anti-Christian challenges they will experience in adult life. So, Sean McDowell role-played one of the smartest, toughest atheists a Christian would ever encounter, and he allowed over one hundred of our middle school and high school students to ask questions.
The students dove right in. “Doesn’t archaeology prove the accuracy of the Bible?” And, “If you don’t believe in God, how can you have morality?” Or, “How do you explain the irreducible complexity of a bacterial flagellum?” Sean’s extensive background in apologetics enabled him to provide tough answers and caused a few frustrated teens (and an equal number of adults) to want to launch into a full-scale debate.
In the end, though, Sean McDowell as an atheist was too tough of a challenge; the teens struggled to counter many of his claims about God and religion. Before heading home, Sean “unwound” his answers and shared some facts about Christianity that would have helped the students defend their faith. When the youth meeting was over, the teens had learned an important truth—that they must continue to learn more about why they believe what they believe, so they can, “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).
Here are a few more truths:
- 43% of Americans say that it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons
- Only 30% of teens believe the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches
- 59% of Americans and 40% of born-again Christians believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God
- Only one-third of all adults believe moral truth is absolute
- The number one reason religious young people leave their faith is intellectual skepticism
Is it any wonder people today have become confused by false teaching and the dizzying array of spiritual options? In a time like this what we need is truth—what we need is a GodQuest!
How do you get your teens talking about what they believe and why?