Book Reviews; Already Gone
In retrospect, the conclusion of this book is obvious from my own experience. That kids leave the church at young ages should have been obvious, as I was a preteen when I went through the questioning phase. There was one portion of Scripture that sprang to my mind at that time:
John 6:66-8. "66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
These three verses led me to the obvious next thought: if I am not a Christian, what then do I believe? Answers in Genesis, and Ken Ham's work in particular, was the guiding light at this point in my life. I knew, from their work, that any religion that did not have a global flood could not explain the evidence we had around us. That left evolution, Judaism, and Islam.
Judaism I rejected because the prophecy had failed. The prophecy that David would always have a descendant on the throne of Israel had to have been fulfilled in the time of Christ or not at all.
Islam failed for me on what I've referred to as the doctrine of Groucho Marx. Groucho said he would not join a club which would accept him as a member. I would not worship any god for whom I was good enough.
That left evolution. I had read enough from Answers in Genesis to know that historical evolution is not, and can not be, science. I then had two choices in terms of belief. One was filled with hope and love. One was filled with pain, death, and chaos. The choice was then easy to make, but it would not have been made had the way I did had I not been taught to defend the faith.
The secondary conclusion of the book, that what is missing is a deep understanding of Scripture, rings true to me, as it was that understanding which preserved me.
I also thought that a sub-point on hypocrisy--which is the number one reason people give for leaving the church--was telling as well: many of the hypocrites in the church do not live the faith for the simple reason that they have not been taught the faith. I think Scripture bears this out as well, because of the reactions, at various points, when the Scripture was rediscovered and read to the people, and they were ashamed of how they lived.
I'm going to pass this book on to a few people, since the parts on Sunday School are particularly important.
Labels: Book reviews