Barna Poll About The New Generation and Christianity

Someone just sent me this link. Thanks. Here's a few of the points made:

As the nation’s culture changes in diverse ways, one of the most significant shifts is the declining reputation of Christianity, especially among young Americans. A new study by The Barna Group conducted among 16- to 29-year-olds shows that a new generation is more skeptical of and resistant to Christianity than were people of the same age just a decade ago.

The study of Christianity’s slipping image is explored in a new book, entitled unChristian, by David Kinnaman, the president of The Barna Group. The study is a result of collaboration between Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons of the Fermi Project.

The study shows that 16- to 29-year-olds exhibit a greater degree of criticism toward Christianity than did previous generations when they were at the same stage of life. In fact, in just a decade, many of the Barna measures of the Christian image have shifted substantially downward, fueled in part by a growing sense of disengagement and disillusionment among young people. For instance, a decade ago the vast majority of Americans outside the Christian faith, including young people, felt favorably toward Christianity’s role in society. Currently, however, just 16% of non-Christians in their late teens and twenties said they have a "good impression" of Christianity.

One of the groups hit hardest by the criticism is evangelicals. Such believers have always been viewed with skepticism in the broader culture. However, those negative views are crystallizing and intensifying among young non-Christians. The new study shows that only 3% of 16 - to 29-year-old non-Christians express favorable views of evangelicals. This means that today’s young non-Christians are eight times less likely to experience positive associations toward evangelicals than were non-Christians of the Boomer generation (25%)...

11 comments:

A. Thinker said...

Well I'll be damned. Maybe my generation isn't completely lost.

B H said...

In fact, in just a decade, many of the Barna measures of the Christian image have shifted substantially downward, fueled in part by a growing sense of disengagement and disillusionment among young people.

I wonder how they measured the latter half? Or it was just thrown out there? In my limited experience, there are a lot of very motivated and politically engaged young people, particularly among the non-Christians I know.

B H said...

Ah, considering the source and lack of commentary, they may have meant "disengagement from and disillusionment with Christianity." Fair enough. I was afraid they were implying this is a trend with only people who are disillusioned with US society as a whole.

GordonBlood said...

As one of the younger people who writes regularly on DC I feel a small amount of responsibility to write on this subject. From what I see of young people its not atheism or even agnosticism the grand majority espouse, at least in an intellectual sense. Most are happy to believe there is some power controlling the universe but dont really explore much beyond that point. I see this same lack of interest in all things, including politics; which I suppose somewhat contradicts b h here. Of course I can only speak from what I see on my own university campus.

B H said...

I should qualify that "my limited experience" has put me in contact with what's probably a skewed subsection of the population: young people who are politically involved, locally active, into political music like old school punk and hip hop, and relatively bright and motivated. Certainly not a random sample, however common or uncommon that sort of person might be.

Joseph said...

I work on a major university campus, so I must also weigh in. I work and talk with hundreds in a given term. I think Gordon has a pretty good handle on the spirit of the millennial generation. They are far from amoral--many of them have strong family values. Unfortunately, they seem very disillusioned with politics and traditional institutions. The trump card in all of this is the "helicopter parent" (a term coined for this generation's parents who are more involved in their lives than previous generations). A surprising number of graduates and go back to live with their parents, or at least near them. My assumption is that if these parents are religious, they may hold on to a least a skeleton of that religion so as to not disappoint mom and dad.

Brother Crow said...

This is such good news, it makes me want to exclaim..."there is a God!"

WoundedEgo said...

I'm an old fart. I'm not completely senile, but I have got to the point where I can hide my own Easter eggs. Just for fun I hid some in the fridge once, and it took me YEARS to find them.

Having said that (what did I say?) I have to say that young people are AWESOME. Today my son told me how many atoms are in a...well... I forget.. but still, he had numbers and everything...

The point is that knowledge is exploding. Had I been born a hundred years ago, I WOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED SMART!

Also, the word "pussy" only referred to cats!

Still, it is good to see u. "U" as they say in college (capitalized).

Still, why did Arafat win a frickin NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE?

Don't bother even tryint to explain that to me.

So the new generation can't see that 3=1? Bravo!

Bill Ross
http://bibleshockers.blogspot.com

(I'll be right with you... gotta type in the random letters zovuj so the computer knows I am a human and not a bot...)

Joseph said...

WoundedEgo, I think we both agree that the millennial generation is going to surprise us all. Any prediction about the role of Christianity in the children of the millennial?

zilch said...

woundedego, from one old fart to another, I'm glad you still have a sense of humor. Keep it well!

But if "pussy" only referred to "cats" in your time, you must be an even older fart than me:

Philip Stubbs, an English pamphleteer, wrote in his 1583 book "The Anatomie of Abuses" that "the word pussie is now used of a woman".

Larian LeQuella said...

Given how horrible the US education system, this is actually very encouraging. Now that we have some real hope for education, even more people will get exposed to thinking!