When Paul wrote to his young convert Timothy, he told him “in latter times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim. 4:1), and advised him to “turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20–21). My friend, we are seeing these Scriptures come to pass in our own day.
It began in Europe. Over the course of the 19th and early 20 centuries, the seeds of doubt in the veracity of Scripture (so-called “higher criticism”), sown by scholars with a secular-humanist philosophy and agenda, grew and gained acceptance in the halls of academia and eventually in the church. The church, with its energies focused largely on the mission field, failed to take this threat seriously and did nothing to counteract the attack. This, in spite of the fact that from the mid-19th century on archaeological discoveries were producing evidence that supported the historical reliability of the Bible! By the mid-20th century Christianity in Europe, including Great Britain, was pronounced dead and historians declared Europe to be in a post-Christian era. Where there is a void, something else will surely fill the space as we see happening today.
The Church in the U.S. has not learned from this lesson, as the exact same thing is now taking place in our country. According to a Gallop poll, 38% of Americans believed the Bible to be literally true in 1976. In 2006, just 30 years later, that figure had dropped 10 points to 28%. Where will it be 30 years from now? Even among Christians, only 37% believed the Bible to be literally true in 2006. Eddie Gibbs, professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, said regarding these statistics, “the Bible has lost its position of cultural prominence.”
Particularly alarming is the trend among teenagers to leave the faith. According to a study conducted by the Barna Group from 2001 to 2006, 60% of teens involved in a church will not continue their spiritual commitment into early adulthood. Those attending college seem to be leading this trend, with one study showing that 75–80 % of Christian youth turn from their Christian faith by the second year of college.
Jude admonishes us to “contend for the faith” (vs. 3). ABR is one of the few Christian organizations engaged in the battle for the truth of the Bible. Sadly, the majority of Christians and churches do not see the need for supporting the kind of apologetic work that ABR is doing. That is why your help is so valued and vital to our ministry.
Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support.
Recommended Resources for Further Study
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