VERY interesting interview with the author of The Jesus Survey, Mike Nappa.
The Jesus Survey was administered during summer 2010 at Reach Workcamp mission sites in Colorado, Indiana, Maine, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. (You can download a reproducible copy of the actual survey used at nappaland.com/tjs.) More than 800 teens, ages 12 to 18, participated in the survey. All teens self-identified as “Christian” and were active in a church youth group at the time of the survey. In all, the survey sample represented 16 Christian denominations from 24 United States, and delivered a 99 percent confidence level with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
What he found was how many teens had doubts about the trustworthiness of the Bible and the exclusivity of Jesus.
While 86 percent of those surveyed reported that they viewed the Bible as at least somewhat trustworthy, 70 percent expressed persistent, measurable doubts that what the Bible says about Jesus is true. And these are “cream of the crop” youth group kids.
Christ’s exclusivity seems to be a big stumbling block for many teens. Fully 1 out of 3 (33 percent) of the Christian teenagers surveyed believes that Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha and other great religious leaders all lead to heaven.
The take away?
The absolute best thing you can do for any Christian teenager is to help that teen grow confident in the trustworthiness of Scripture. Teens who believe the Bible is reliable are more likely to embrace authentic Christian beliefs and — according to the data — are significantly more likely to experience an authentic, noticeable relationship with God.
Read the whole book review. It would be interesting to ask questions from this survey to our kids. But it highlights the importance of the apologetics arm of The Apollos Project. Truly, we are on the right track.