July 27th, 2013
08:33 AM ET

Why millennials are leaving the church

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - At 32, I barely qualify as a millennial.

I wrote my first essay with a pen and paper, but by the time I graduated from college, I owned a cell phone and used Google as a verb.

I still remember the home phone numbers of my old high school friends, but don’t ask me to recite my husband’s without checking my contacts first.

I own mix tapes that include selections from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but I’ve never planned a trip without Travelocity.

Despite having one foot in Generation X, I tend to identify most strongly with the attitudes and the ethos of the millennial generation, and because of this, I’m often asked to speak to my fellow evangelical leaders about why millennials are leaving the church.

Armed with the latest surveys, along with personal testimonies from friends and readers, I explain how young adults perceive evangelical Christianity to be too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

I point to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness.

I talk about how the evangelical obsession with sex can make Christian living seem like little more than sticking to a list of rules, and how millennials long for faith communities in which they are safe asking tough questions and wrestling with doubt.

Invariably, after I’ve finished my presentation and opened the floor to questions, a pastor raises his hand and says, “So what you’re saying is we need hipper worship bands. …”

And I proceed to bang my head against the podium.

Time and again, the assumption among Christian leaders, and evangelical leaders in particular, is that the key to drawing twenty-somethings back to church is simply to make a few style updates - edgier music, more casual services, a coffee shop in the fellowship hall, a pastor who wears skinny jeans, an updated Web site that includes online giving.

But here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.

In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions - Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. - precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

You can’t hand us a latte and then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around. We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.

Like every generation before ours and every generation after, deep down, we long for Jesus.

Now these trends are obviously true not only for millennials but also for many folks from other generations. Whenever I write about this topic, I hear from forty-somethings and grandmothers, Generation Xers and retirees, who send me messages in all caps that read “ME TOO!” So I don’t want to portray the divide as wider than it is.

But I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community.

Their answers might surprise you.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Opinion

soundoff (9,864 Responses)
  1. papapound

    "I point to research that shows young evangelicals often feel they have to choose between their intellectual integrity and their faith, between science and Christianity, between compassion and holiness."

    Pop culture and the media have lead the masses down this path. We don't have to choose between intellectual integrity and faith. I have both. We don't have to choose between science and say the Bible. I believe both and they are congruent on the points they touch simultaneously. Holiness is from God and embodies fully compassion. Millennials hear and listen to the wrong cultural voices.

    August 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      "We don't have to choose between intellectual integrity and faith. I have both."

      NO, you dont. You compartmenalize your life so that you dont have to use the same logic and reason with respect to your faith. If you were to view your religion skeptically then you would stop believing. I'm sure that you dont believe this but it is the truth.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • photografr7

        If you have both, tell me this: Is the universe 10,000 years old or billions of years old. Don't even get me started on the "first" man.

        August 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • papapound

        I am glad you are so confident. If you are interested, I will send you information about the PhD course I'm taking. It is an eye opener.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          How about answering the question on the age of the earth. And for good measure your thoughts on evolution.

          August 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • photografr7

          And while you are at it, please explain why a supposedly (perfectly) good God can be so darn evil when he wants to be.

          August 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • papapound

          There is plenty of inaccuracies out there about what groups believe and what the Bible speaks to. On the age of the earth, the Bible does not speak or hint. I am not a geologist so I have no clue. It is much older than 6000 years or so, just in case that is what you assume I believe. I don't. Just because groups are accused of believing a piece of data does not mean that they in fact believe that. There is diversity, much diversity, among Jesus followers and fake Jesus followers as well.

          August 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
        • photografr7

          How are law-abiding atheists supposed to tell you that you don't know what the hell you are talking about, if you believers can't even agree on what you believe?

          August 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • papapound

          Do all atheists agree 100% on all issues of non-theology?

          August 8, 2013 at 7:27 am |
        • photografr7

          Absolutely! No atheist believes that God exists, and therefore He could not have done any of the things that theists attribute to him, regardless of their particular religion. In other words, atheists are united and theists are divided into numerous and various versions of the same old - and factually incorrect - story.

          August 8, 2013 at 7:33 am |
        • papapound

          On evolution, this tiny space does spare the room to go deep. I might send over a link where I discuss one minescule thought about evolution: http://goodnewsnow.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/evolution-aristocracy/

          August 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • photografr7

          Evolution is fact. It's not debatable.

          August 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • papapound

          Let's just skip my beliefs for a moment. What do you mean by "evolution?"

          August 8, 2013 at 7:29 am |
        • photografr7

          Life began on earth billions of years ago in a very simple form. Then, as a result of genetic duplication, random selection and the environment, those simple life forms *evolved* into slightly more complex organisms. The weak ones died off and the strong ones survived and evolved further, until eventually mammals, like man, appeared on earth. There was no FIRST man, but there were creatures that looked very much like modern man. Many living creatures continue to live on earth, but 99.9% of them have died off a long time ago. We know about them through the fossil records including little pieces of bone and the imprint of plants in rock, etc. That's evolution.

          August 8, 2013 at 7:42 am |
        • papapound

          And where did you get this information?

          August 8, 2013 at 7:54 am |
        • photografr7

          As I first explained, it's scientific fact. Therefore the details are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals throughout the world. If you don't have a background in genetics or molecular biology, perhaps the best book for you on the subject is the following. It's available at a bookstore near you or on the Internet: http://books.google.com/books?id=n-C9qW5UPL4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=evolution+Ph.D.&hl=en&sa=X&ei=c4oDUta2CcPj4APdioBY&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=evolution%20Ph.D.&f=false

          August 8, 2013 at 8:12 am |
        • Primewonk

          Papaproud wrote, "What do you mean by "evolution?" "

          A change in the frequency of alleles in a population over time.

          August 8, 2013 at 8:17 am |
        • redzoa

          @papapound – Pasteur effectively dismantled spontaneous generation as it was suspected up through the mid-1800s; however, abiogenesis is a distinct line of study looking for plausible pathways to early replicators and still further pathways to the first protocell. There are many active lines of study, including that of Jack Szostak, the 2009 Nobel winner for physiology or medicine. Suffice it to say there are many interesting hypotheses and the work continues (search PubMed for "abiogenesis" to read some of the actual peer-reviewed work).

          Regarding evolution the fact (Primewonk's definition) and evolution the scientific theory (the well-tested and validated explanation for extant and extinct biodiversity stemming from physical evidence from every relevant scientific discipline), they stand on their own evidence regardless of how exactly the first replicators appeared.

          Regarding the absolute morality argument, I've never understood how certain theists can make this argument with a straight face after their preferred deity demanded the brutal and merciless slaughter of Amalekite children and infants. Are you the type of person who would gut an infant with a short sword if you believed someone spoke for God and informed you this was God's command? Are you the type of person who believes slavery was otherwise ok, so long as the slave was from a foreign land? Are you the type of person who wishes grievous bodily injury upon children for mocking you? Etc, etc.

          Apparently, this absolute morality argument isn't about whether something is "good" or "bad" or causes pain or suffering, it's about abdicating any personal responsibility in making such a decision. There is precedent for this lack of moral reasoning and is commonly referred to as a Nuremberg Defense. I'll stop here, leaving Euthyphro's Dilemma and the Problem of Evil for some other time . . .

          August 9, 2013 at 12:53 am |
        • papapound

          I see two directions here. Thank you for the info/data on genesis. And, from that info I gather that there are lots of theories still being worked and no conclusions. So, there is still theory about first cause.

          August 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Saraswati

        @Honey, Agreed, but I think we underestimate how good humans are at compartmentalizing. Even most atheist cling to the irrational and anti-scientific idea of "free will" and yet don't see this as as silly, or more so, than gods. Or the way people ignore the hard problem of consciousness. Almost everyone, if not everyone, compartmentalizes and ignores inconvenient facts. Most people choose to live their lives without accepting that daily their actions kill others. Reality is a hard pill to swallow. The trick is getting the balance right, and that may not be the same for everyone.

        August 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • photografr7

          If you are a true Christian, saying you can maintain intellectual integrity is fooling others. Believing in faith is only fooling yourself.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Saraswati

          @phot, agreed, but my point is that the area in which they lack integrity may be fairly small and limited, and almost everyone I've met has such areas. The problematic areas for Christians are often important ones, but its not a phenomenon unique to religion.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Ella

      Papapound, I grew up in the most sheltered Christian family ever, the most stereotypical of homeschoolers. We girls were clad in denim jumpers and we ground our own flour, we had no TV and few friends as our parents were paranoid about what pressure our peers would apply on us. And then I went to a tiny Christian college and that's where I lost my faith, surrounded by Christians, with no influence of pop culture and not so much as one atheist in my circle of acquaintances. I just realized after a bit of open-minded research that everything I had been taught my whole life made no sense.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • papapound

        Ella, I want to feel your pain–I really do.

        I am sad for you and for your community. I am presuming here that your change in beliefs tore at relationships and that is always painful. For the pain, I care and feel that pain with you.

        There are many families and communities collected around a belief in Jesus. I also can only presume that you never met the Real Jesus and that some of those around you may have never met him either. The Real Jesus comes in power and when he does you know it.

        Ella, I have read so much of the literature. Read the moderns and some of the not so modern writings against this Jesus. Ehrman, Tabor, Spong, Dawkins, Hitchens, Thomas Paine, and more. While some of them raise some valid points and issues to be researched, most all of them did not begin to take me down a journey similar to yours. Here is the main reason for me. They do not know what is in the book. They don't know the words of Jesus and they don't know what the prophets said, it's that simple. Most people are hanging on to the credentials of others who supposedly know what they are saying, but they may not. What if they are wrong? That's the question I have to ask myself and not only that, I look at what the actual book says and I can see for myself–they missed it. I may not have it all right either, but they missed it!

        I will pray to the Real Jesus for healing in your heart no matter what your path and healing in your relationships no matter how distant they may be today.

        August 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  2. Jordan

    Its kind of an interesting thought but 20 years ago, that generations 20- 30 something's we're leaving the traditional churches we are going back to because they were sick of the legalistic, formalism, suit and tie, hymnal style church. And why? It wasn't reaching the 20-30something's anymore.

    No one will ever get church right. Not Billy Graham, not John Piper, not hillsong, not me, not you.

    In my opinion the problem is sin. Since Acts people have been trying out how to make church better and people for some reason are suprised when its not. And guess what, we never will get it right! But thank God. Jesus died on the cross for my times of failure in getting church "right" along with my times of religion and ritual as well as other high handed sins.

    As the bible says...There is nothing new under the sun. 30 years from now that generations 30 year olds will be sick and tired with this generations 30 year olds solution to our generations church problems. Just as our previous 30 year olds were sick of traditional church and moved us to what so many people are now wishing we'd do something else.

    A healthier perspective is not what the pastor in skinny jeans do better to serve ME, or the phony worship band to better to take ME farther in worship. Rather its WHAT CAN I DO IN MY LOCAL CHURCH TO SERVE, SPREAD THE LOVE AND GOSPEL of Jesus in and outside the physical Walls of church. And guess what you'll find fulfillment because now you're serving imperfect people instead of them serving you just as Jesus did.

    August 6, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "In my opinion the problem is sin."

      Only to the 2 billion of 7 billion people who are christian.

      August 6, 2013 at 8:31 am |
      • photografr7

        What percentage of that 2 billion have had greater than a 3-grade education? And what percentage of that sub-group understand cosmology and genetics at the university level? Just curious.

        August 6, 2013 at 9:08 am |
        • Capiscan

          I hold a BSN and am currently pursuing an MSN. I'm an Episcopalian and as a group, we value education.

          August 6, 2013 at 11:22 am |
        • photografr7

          Your pursuit of knowledge is admirable. There's only one problem; it's in direct violation of the Word of God. If I am not mistaken, Adam was specifically told not to eat from the fruit of knowledge, or his eternal life would be revoked. If you want to pursue knowledge at the Masters, or even the Ph.D., level, do it, but be forewarned: God won't like it.

          August 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          The question really is why do you accept science and logic in your professional capacity when you discount them in the religious aspects of your life. For example, modern knowledge based on scientific discovery shows us that disease is not caused by evil spirits, so why believe in ancient creation myths which are shown to be incorrect.

          August 6, 2013 at 11:44 am |
        • pasro

          photografr7: The fruit to which you refer came not from "The Tree of Knowledge" but "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil." The admonition to not eat of it was not to preclude humanity from becoming more knowledgeable but to preclude it from knowing that which was to be reserved to God. Knowledge coupled with humbleness to acknowledge that our knowledge is limited is virtuous... knowledge that "puffs up," as Paul would say, is prideful and therefore sinful.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • photografr7

          Knowledge is good. Striving to increase your knowledge is better. Any country or diety that attempts to prevent an individual from increasing his knowledge even the knowledge to distinguish between good and evil) is evil. And please don't quote scripture to prove God is good or never wrong. That's like quoting Wikipedia to prove that Wikipedia is never wrong.

          August 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • ben - photografr7

          So what does knowledge do for you after you die? And why can't you use scripture to prove God is good. I guess I can not use anything you say or write then to determine if you are actually knowledgable. Pursuing knowledge does not mean you have obtain it. If we can't use scripture to prove that, then textbooks and writings of those who claim to be knowledgable should not be used to prove what knowledge is.

          August 7, 2013 at 9:35 am |
        • photografr7

          I have news for you. When you're dead you're dead. It's not a pretty sight, but it's the truth. The rest is an oft-repeated fairy tale.

          August 7, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • stevef00

          There's an element of truth here that escapes me for all the believers of Adam and Eve. Since god supposedly knows everything, didn't he know that the fruit was going to be eaten, and since he already knew that, why didn't he banish them out immediately? Same with Noah....didn't he already know he was going to cause a flood and kill everybody and then regret it later, and promised never to do it again? And, since he knew that he was going to regret it later, why did he do it anyway? This is like trying to figure out "Back to the Future II"!! Nuances like this are exactly why athiests are able to say that logic and reason have no place for believers.

          August 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • photografr7

          Speaking of "knowing," didn't he know that germs cause disease, that man evolved from lower animals, and that the earth revolved around the sun? There are a whole slew of things that God supposedly knew but neglected to tell his son and the rest of the human race.

          August 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • hermansohn

          I am puzzled. Your posts indicate that you do not believe in God and they also indicate that you know who God is. So, what is it? Surely the God you are disappointed in is not my God.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • photografr7

          I'm glad you admit there is more than one.

          August 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Anne Prescott

          Well, I have a PhD and an (atheist) authority on evolution for a son-in-law and evolution fascinates me. And I'm a Christian, although not a "everything in the Bible is literally true" one, and believe in evolution and natural selection. You really can have both and be no more compartmentalized than your average university. I think photografr7 is too harsh. Some folks with a third grade education, after all, had no chance to go further–and still have native intelligence. I say this as a fairly distinguished scholar, and with respect–education can be overestimated.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
        • photografr7

          I stand by my statement that most "true believers" have a 3rd-grade education and many of them marry their sisters. A Christian with a Ph.D. is certainly an exception to that rule. I'll also say that if you lived in medieval times, you probably would be carried from place to place by slaves and might very well be considered a God among men. Your name isn't Plato by any chance, is it? Anyway, I'd challenge a hand-full of atheists against a hand-full of Christians any day. It would hardly be a fair fight.

          August 9, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
        • hermansohn

          So, do you not have a third grade education?

          August 10, 2013 at 7:54 am |
        • photografr7

          Well yes, but I didn't stop there as most Christians have. I went on to college with a major in philosophy and a strong minor in mathematics and computer science. Oh, and then I received my MBA in business, graduating at the top of my class with nearly a 4.0 average. So technically, I have a 3rd grade education, but not really.

          August 10, 2013 at 8:03 am |
        • hermansohn

          Well, I am impressed by your education. And, it leaves me perplexed. Do you reject the philosophical teachings of most of the most influential philosophers of all time - Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, etc.? They all believed in some kind of God. Even Nietzsche said that God is dead so God must have been alive at one time.

          August 11, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • photografr7

          I am currently a researcher and historian on the history of the atomic bomb during WWII. The THREE things I've learned to ask when confronted with a "fact" of history are these: 1) What did they know? 2) How did they know it? 3) When did they find out. The same goes for religious statements of "fact."

          Since I assume you don't have the diaries of those first-rate philosophers, what we know about their belief in God is contained in their writings. Since most modern thinkers began with the premise that God exists, these philosophers have used their great philosophic arguments for the existence of God. If you read more modern philosophers, you'll find equally compelling arguments for the non-existence of God.

          I'm not saying Plato was wrong, but he was only defending one side of the argument, and using that side as a premise for his more grander arguments. since Socrates was my personal favorite philosopher, the above applies equally to him.

          August 11, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • hermansohn

          What branch of philosophy did you major in?

          August 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • photografr7

          I only received my B.A. in philosophy. I don't think "branches" came until the graduate level. My only claim to fame during my undergraduate years (if you can call it that) is that one of my fellow students was Howard Stern who lived down the hall from me in the dorm at Boston University. [ P.S. I was smarter than he was, and a lot better looking 🙂 ]

          August 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
        • photografr7

          But I do remember taking a course in the philosophy of religion. I'm sure class discussions were even more unwieldy than on this message board.

          August 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • SouthernCelt

        Don't forget the Jews and Muslims and any other monotheistic religion. Sin is a lot older than Christianity.

        August 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • james

      jordan; good questions but if you go to jw.org or have a serious conversation with Jehovah's Witnesses when they come to your door you can find what the Bible really teaches. There are answers to all your questions and comments and they actually make sense when you see what is happening today. You have nothing to lose (there is no charge at any of their meetings) and there may be eternal life to gain.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Oh please...that's simply craziness!! As least this christian child doesn't go door to door recruiting for a belief system that is silly enough to think hat there are only 144000 people worthy of god!
        If this kid is smart and in the slightest way open-minded, he'll realize it is all crap and live for this life...the only one he is guaranteed of.

        August 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • james

          where did you get those ideas? someone has misled you about a few things but just as Jesus and his followers in the first century did anyone who follows Jesus teachings does go door to door and makes disciples,(Matt.28:19,20) but the hope is for all not just 144,000. they are the kings and priests in God's Kingdom. for the truth about what the Bible really teaches just ask or go to jw.org and you will have all your questions answered freely and unlike other religions that means no charge.

          August 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  3. Kurt Loader

    Could it be that millennials are leaving the church because they don't believe in God? I don't think they're leaving the church to find Jesus somewhere else. They've just evaluated the evidence, inserted it into their logic paradigm and came to the only rational conclusion that there is: I do not need to believe in the supernatural to be a moral person.

    August 6, 2013 at 6:10 am |
    • Colin

      I have never understood why so many people think it is necessary to believe in some kind of supernatural mumbo jumbo in order to live a moral life.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      That is something to worry about – that there are people who can't imagine living for the common good and who feel they must believe in eternal punishment else they will do things that they think we all should fear.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:23 am |
  4. Sally Mercury

    Very nice post and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thx 🙂

    August 6, 2013 at 5:21 am |
  5. David

    Is any other atheist sick of religious people using the bible to prove the bible? Also, I'm sick of the religious propaganda pamphlets that the local church leaves on my doorstep.

    August 6, 2013 at 2:32 am |
    • Noah

      I'm actually a Christian, but I am extremely frustrated with the church's circular logic of "the bible tells me the bible is true". Baloney. One advantage of growing up in a consumerist culture is having your B.S. meter sharper than previous generations'. I know faulty logic when I see it. In the pursuit of truth there should be value in academic integrity.

      That said, I am still a Christian. Not because I am lazy and don't want to believe anything else, but because I find Christianity to be the most plausible worldview backed by evidence. Yes, evidence. Most of it is historical, and you'd have to interpolate to find plausibility in the Resurrection, but I believe it is indeed likely true. That said, I am no scholar of history or biblical texts. I study things like modern physics and biblical history because it is intellectually stimulating and because I don't want a faith backed merely by wishful thinking (a.k.a. "hope"). I want a faith that has a basis of historical evidence. Personally, I find what I am looking for in Christianity. I most certainly understand if someone else does not share the same opinion, however.

      August 6, 2013 at 3:25 am |
      • Truth Prevails :-)

        Faith is nothing but wishful thinking, it is belief without evidence...look up the meaning of the word, you'll then understand.

        August 6, 2013 at 5:56 am |
        • photografr7

          If you seek the truth, by all means do it. But don't think for a moment the truth will come from an ancient book or from the mouths of those who claim to know the "true meaning" of that book. Look, instead, at the evidence all around you, and then decide for yourself.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:42 am |
        • Paul

          @Truth Prevails 🙂

          I looked up the definition of "faith" from m-w.com.

          a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
          2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
          3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

          You only chose the definition that you wanted to use (definiton 2b above), thus making a straw man fallicay. Christianity is not a blind faith – it's not fideism. It's an action based on what we know – a logical inference.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • Paul

          " Look, instead, at the evidence all around you, and then decide for yourself."

          Yes, the evidence of God is all around us. But it takes blind faith to believe that everything came into existance by mindless, purposeless, undirected processes.

          August 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        It is a good sign that you do try to see beyond the usual underpinnings of Christianity. I hope you come to see it for what it is. Meanwhile, if you have turned up evidence to back belief that any of it is true, then please do share.

        August 6, 2013 at 6:10 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I correct the religious propoganda and deliver it right back to them.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  6. UPC23

    The Class broke out into Laughter )
    Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s Brain, Felt it, touched or Smelt it? No one appears to have done so.
    So, according to the Established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol,
    Science says that You have No Brain, sir. With all due respect,sir, how do we then Trust your Lectures, sir?

    (The Room was Silent. The Professor stared at the Student, his face unfathomable)
    Professor : I guess you’ll have to take them on Faith, son.
    Student : That is it sir . . . Exactly !
    The Link between Man & GOD is FAITH.
    That is all that Keeps Things Alive and Moving.

    The student was Albert Einstein.

    August 6, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • redzoa

      If the intent was to demonstrate gullibility, you have succeeded. There are a number of these dialogues floating around; they are the fabrications of apologists. For example:


      Why do apologists need to manufacture support for their positions?

      August 6, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • David

      This is the stupidest pro-faith argument I have ever read. Anyone with half a brain can come up with all sorts of reasons why this argument is flawed. Posting this did nothing but show your stupidity and has no weight in the argument of pro or anti-faith.

      August 6, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • Colin

      Oh bullsh.it. That is a Christian urban myth. I have heard about three different versions of it.

      August 6, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  7. UPC23

    Professor : So what is the point you are making, Young Man ?
    Student : Sir, my point is your Philosophical Premise is flawed.
    Professor : Flawed ? Can you explain how?
    Student : Sir, you are working on the Premise of Duality. You argue there is Life and then there is Death, a Good GOD and a Bad GOD. You are viewing the Concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a Thought. It uses Electricity and Magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view Death as the Opposite of Life is to be ignorant of the fact that Death cannot exist as a Substantive Thing.
    Death is Not the Opposite of Life: just the Absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your Students that they evolved from a Monkey?
    Professor : If you are referring to the Natural Evolutionary Process, yes, of course, I do.
    Student : Have you ever observed Evolution with your own eyes, sir?
    (The Professor shook his head with a Smile, beginning to realize where the Argument was going )
    Student : Since no one has ever observed the Process of Evolution at work and
    Cannot even prove that this Process is an On-Going Endeavour,
    Are you not teaching your Opinion, sir?
    Are you not a Scientist but a Preacher?
    (The Class was in Uproar )
    Student : Is there anyone in the Class who has ever seen the Professor’s Brain?

    August 6, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      So you think that evolution with a mountain of evidence is an inferior answer than ancient superstitions with no evidence for and much evidence against.

      August 6, 2013 at 11:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.