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Research Topics

Statistical data has been flashing warning signs about the young people in our churches.

A recent survey by American Research Group indicated that six out of ten of them are likely to eventually leave the Church.1 In an earlier survey commissioned by Answers in Genesis,2 a statistical sample of 1000 'twenty-somethings' who regularly attended church, or church and Sunday School as youngsters, were interviewed to find out why they left.

doubt chart

One of the crucial questions was, 'When did you first have doubts about the truth of the Bible?' According to conventional wisdom, students adhere to the teaching of church and Sunday School while they still attend, but once they get to college, their agnostic or atheist professors undermine their faith and sow doubts in their minds. Surprisingly, this survey found that only 11% started to question the veracity of the Bible during their college years. Shockingly, the largest fraction (47%) began to doubt during middle school! The remaining 42% began their mental departure in high school. In other words, 89% began to question their faith in the Bible as God's inerrant Word during their middle school and high school years before they ever left home!

Further, the statistical data demonstrate that regular attendance in Sunday School during their formative years did not have a beneficial effect on either the likelihood or intensity of their mistrust of the Bible during middle or high school. In fact, regular Sunday School attendance appeared to have the detrimental effect of increasing their doubts about the reliability of the Bible and causing greater antagonism towards the Church by the time they reached their twenties!

The analysis of these statistics concludes that a contributing factor is the lack of apologetic information provided in the typical Sunday School curricula. Sunday School materials typically involve repetitive re-telling of Bible stories, with little or no factual details to explain, amplify, or support the biblical narratives. Quite often the students have heard these stories before -- sometimes many times before -- and filed them away in their minds together with other stories.

In contrast, students in junior high and high school are exposed to various science classes, where the emphasis is on facts. They will be taught the scientific method, which begins with the observation of evidence (i.e. facts), from which a hypothesis is formulated, which is then tested, and if proven, will become a scientific theory. There is no room for stories in this part of the student's learning experience.

dvd cover

The approach taken in the Archaeology Explorers curriculum is to begin each lesson with observable facts that relate to the biblical text of the lesson. These facts are obtained largely from the science of archaeology. The archaeological facts are presented in a short video, shot at an archaeological site in Israel or Jordan. Following the video, the teacher may weave in the biblical text as an account of the events that happened at this very real location. Each lesson is rounded out with an open discussion and an interactive learning game.

Our goal is to use this approach to cover the entire Bible. Because of the significant cost of filming the on-location videos, we plan to accomplish this goal in a step-by-step fashion by completing and distributing sets of three lessons at a time. The first set has been completed, and the second set is currently in production.

 

Today we are very pleased to introduce this new curriculum to anyone interested with an absolutely FREE lesson. We'll even pay for the shipping! To get your free copy of lesson one, including the video DVD and teacher's guide on CD, just contact ABR and provide us with a shipping address.

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1 K. Ham, 'How to Prevent Losing Another Generation,' Answers Magazine, X, 4 (2015).
2 K. Ham and Britt Beemer, Already Gone, 2008.

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ABRT 24 | 4/13/2019