Thanks to Lawton for passing on this link to a recent article in Relevant Magazine by Brandon Peach entitled Will the Internet Kill Christianity?
The article starts by citing the recent argument made by Christian apologist Josh McDowell suggesting that young people are rejecting Christian fundamentalism because of the Internet:
“What has changed everything?” Christian apologist Josh McDowell asked his audience on July 15 at the Billy Graham Center in Asheville, N.C. His talk, titled “Unshakeable Truth, Relevant Faith,” had detailed a certain uncomfortable fact in anticipation of the question: that young Christians in America are rejecting Christian fundamentalism—and doctrinaire concepts such as absolute truth and biblical infallibility—in droves. Why is faith in God being supplanted, earlier and earlier, by relativism, secularism and skepticism? McDowell’s answer was simple: the Internet.What, exactly, is going on with the Internet that is making this happen? According to McDowell, young Christians are being exposed early and often to secular and atheistic arguments found online. Peach seems to agree with this assessment, suggesting that the Internet is dominated by the voices of irreligion:
The fact is, a relationship between irreligion and the Internet was bound to happen. Religion has long enjoyed a culturally accepted free space in which to share rhetoric—the Church. Atheism has suffered the exact opposite. America’s wariness of (or its outright antagonism toward, in its greatest excesses) irreligion has forced atheism to the fringes of its society. What the Internet has provided is a free space for atheists in this nation to connect with those across the globe whose cultural milieus are more inviting of all brands of irreligion; indeed, some in which secularism is a majority viewpoint.I don't know if these assessments are correct. But I do think that marginalized voices at the local level can aggregate and gain steam, facilitated by the Internet, at the global level. That is, I don't think the Internet is more atheistic, but it is more pluralistic.
It is no wonder, therefore, that atheism is gaining steam in the U.S.
Regardless, I'm not sure what McDowell's solution is. Information quarantine?
Here's a radical idea. Rather than sticking our heads in the sand, why don't we come up with some better answers to the questions the kids are asking.