Atheist Christian teens. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Yet, whether they realize it or not, many Christian teens are embracing ideas that resemble atheism more than Christianity.
There are many ways this can happen. Perhaps they read books like, The God Delusion by Sam Harris or are fans of Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins. Maybe they have had a teacher or professor they admire who has encouraged atheist viewpoints (maybe not fully aware of their own personal conflicting beliefs).
Regardless of how a teen or young adult was originally exposed to the ideas embraced by atheism, you may need to address them. The Bible holds the answers young people need, but they need to accept there is a God, before they will listen to anything He wants them to know or do.
Ravi Zacharias wrote a great book that was actually a letter to Americans who had read one of Sam Harris’ books. The End off Reason is considered a classic by many apologists. In it, Zacharias carefully analyzes each of the main arguments used by atheists. He examines each view carefully and explains how they are full of not only spiritual, but philosophical issues.
The book is small and relatively short, which is helpful if you want a quick understanding of the debate or for young people who may be reluctant to read yet another book. While generally easy to read, there are some sections that could make your head spin a bit if you aren’t used to philosophical debates.
The book covers many of the most common arguments against God most young people will hear, including “Why would a God, if he existed, allow evil in the world?” Zacharias gives not only the obvious answers, but pretty well covers every possible angle.
One minor caution with this book. Zacharias does nothing to hide his disdain for atheism, its beliefs and Harris in particular. Some young people who are staunch defenders of atheism or Harris, may find it off-putting, distracting them from the arguments Zacharias is making. In those cases, I would suggest having a conversation with the young person using Zacharias’ criticisms of the beliefs, while not including his dissection of Harris.
If you have a group of young people who will be or are attending university, this may also be a great book to read and discuss as a group. They will encounter many of these arguments against God from professors, peers and even in some textbooks. Preparing them in advance can lessen the hold these arguments, which are actually extremely weak, can have on them during years where they are solidifying their world view.
Regardless of whether or not you use this book now with your Bible students, I would highly recommend it as a resource for your teaching library. You never know when you may need it.