A while ago I wrote a post entitled religion is harmful. David Couchman has a review of a book called Unchristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity…and Why It Matters which picks up a similar theme and shows that young people in the US have an overwhelmingly negative view of the Church. I’m not sure how this would translate in the UK, but my impression is that things here are no more positive than they are on the other side of the pond. Anyone involved in Christian leadership should have a look at what David has to say – and should probably buy the book.
In 1996, the Barna Group published some research showing that outsiders had a strong positive image of Christianity in America. The latest research shows that this isn’t the case any longer. In ten years, there has been a massive change in people’s attitudes towards Christianity and Christians. (For more on this, look at our course ‘Facing the Challenge of a Hostile World.’)
David Kinnaman researched how people in their mid teens through to late twenties see Christianity – people sometimes described as ‘Mosaics’ (born between 1984 and 2002) and ‘Busters’ (born between 1965 and 1983).
He found that younger people today have a strongly negative perception of Christianity. One of his respondents said:
Most people I meet assume that Christian means very conservative, entrenched in their thinking, antigay, anichoice, angry, violent, illogical, empire builders; they want to convert everyone, and they generally cannot live peacefully with anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe.