Sticky Faith in the world of faith and science
Working at Core Academy, I spend a lot of time thinking (and praying) about the next generation. I am well aware of the loss of young believers that's been going on for decades now. I know that the reasons are actually quite complicated, far more than just a failure to indoctrinate them adequately. Of course, one issue that gets raised a lot in the creation debate is evolution. Based on lots of anecdotal evidence, when young people encounter evolutionary concept, some of them bail on believing in creation, and some even bail on Christianity altogether. What you think evolution is doing depends on what side of the creation/evolution debate you're on. Some, like me, find evolution fundamentally incompatible with Christianity, and therefore those persuaded by evolution are more likely to fall away from the faith. Others believe that creationists are misleading Christian young people and setting them up for failure when they learn "the truth" about evolution. I suspect things are far more complicated than that simple picture, so on a recent weekend getaway, I took a copy of Sticky Faith with me on the plane to learn more.
Sticky Faith is a book written by Kara Powell and Chap Clark, and it describes the results of their research into why kids decide to stick with the faith. Sticky faith is also a concept: What makes faith stick with kids? How can we create sticky faith that is not easily cast aside? (Sticky faith is also a trademark of the Fuller Youth Institute, where co-author Kara Powell is executive director.) The book helped me to think through issues regarding faith in young people, and I wanted to write down some of the ideas in the context of Core Academy's work to raise up a new generation of faithful creation researchers.
Ironically, the Fuller Youth Institute has an article from August of this year on How to Explore Questions about Science and Faith in Your Ministry. There's some pretty basic and bland advice, and when the author recommended BioLogos (and even an article by Denis Alexander), I was disappointed. Not at all surprised, but disappointed.
So I want to view Sticky Faith through the lens of creationism. What can we do to help the next generation retain their faith in their Savior and Creator? What will this mean in a scientific world extremely hostile to creationists? Are there things creationist students should hear and learn about to help them through their studies?
This will be the subject of a series of posts, and I'll do my best to keep up. I'll try to cover at least a chapter a week. Feel free to get a copy of the book and follow along, or just read my impressions as I post them.
Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.
Have you read my book? You should check that out too!