Ham, Ken. Ready for Reformation: The Foundations of Our Faith are Crumbling. Green Forest: Master Books, 2015. Three paperback books plus DVD. $39.99. www.masterbooks.com
The set above includes the following:
Ham, Ken and Greg Hall with Britt Beemer. Already Compromised: Christian colleges took a test on the state of their faith and THE FINAL EXAM IS IN. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2011. 240 Pages. Paper. $13.99. www.masterbooks.net www.answersingenesis.org (LHP)
Ham, Ken. With Jeff Kinley. Research by Britt Beemer. Ready to Return? The Need for a Fundamental Shift in Church Culture to Save a Generation. Green Forest, Master Books, 2015. 208 Pages. Paper. $13.99. www.masterbooks.com
Today, to accompany the publication of the third title, we share our previous reviews of the other two in this boxed set.
In 2009, we posted an LHP Review:
The title is provocative. And so is the content. Even though it is written in a very workmanlike way, the multiple authors get their point across. Although kids may be sitting in the pews (yet), they may well be sulking on the inside. They may be…Already Gone.“Nationwide polls and denominational reports are showing that the next generation is calling it quits on the traditional church. And it’s not just happening on the nominal fringe; it’s happening at the core of the Faith.“What are the factors that could cause the next generation to be lost from the local church? Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis commissioned Britt Beemer from America’s Research Group to find out. In the first scientific study of its kind, Beemer surveyed a thousand 20-30 year olds who used to go to Evangelical churches on a regular basis but have since left it behind. The results are not just surprising; they are shocking:· Those who faithfully attended Sunday school are more likely to leave the church than those who do not.· Those who regularly attended Sunday school are more likely to believe that the Bible is less true.· Over half of those who faithfully attended church feel that church is not relevant to real life today.“Statistics reveal a huge disconnect taking place between our children and their church experience. The trends are frightening, but Already Gone shows how to fight back for our families, our churches and our world. We can make a difference today that will affect the statistics of tomorrow!” (publisher’s website)In brief, the authors recommend focusing additional attention and effort to share the Word with those who attend on holidays (56ff). Some congregation members rarely attend. I don’t want to do pastoral care “by the numbers,” but the point is well-taken. I do wish there had been more mention of the means of grace in the text.Resources and recommendations are provided for various vocations in the church, especially Pastors (154ff).What can we do to avoid the scenario on the cover? Fathers, bring your families to church and provide a good example in faith and life. Receive God’s gifts regularly as a family. Churches should use Sunday School material that depicts Bible events as actual history. This goes for the accompanying art as much as the teaching. We should more fully embrace the questions of all ages, especially the young, being unafraid to explain the Biblical teaching on creation, the flood, incarnation, resurrection, and Last Day. We should be informed about scientific and secular “moral” theories about evolution, and human sexuality.In some areas, you may be thinking, “But we’re already doing that.” Thanks be to God! Not all have been doing those things. Belief in a literal worldwide flood is demeaned by cute little cartoon Noah on his tiny little ark with the giraffes’ heads popping through a porthole. Children remember when we can’t answer or refuse to answer questions that came up in science class from Christian perspective.The authors make reference to several books that have been reviewed over the years in the pages of QBR.Why Men Hate Going to Church (Murrow, 119) is worth your time and money.Reveal: Where Are You? (Hawkins/Parkinson, 128) is less helpful than originally expected, more of a wake-up call to American Evangelicalism.Pagan Christianity? (Barna/Viola, 47, 125) simply cannot be taken seriously as scholarship.Essentially, we’re not losing kids in college or high school in the numbers we’ve been fearing. We’ve actually been losing them on the inside at far younger ages, junior high and younger. I won’t spoil all the author’s recommendations, but hopefully you’ve read enough to get the book for yourself and recommend it to your friends, family, and congregation.In conclusion, Dr. Ham quotes Dr. Luther: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point at which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on the battle front besides, is mere flight if he flinches at that point” (166, translated by Werner Gitt from the Weimar Edition).The Rev. Paul J Cain
is Pastor of
Immanuel Lutheran Church,
Martin Luther Grammar School,
Wyoming District Worship Chairman,
and Editor of QBR
In 2011, we published the following about Compromised:
Youth ministry is often frustrating. So many resources merely embrace the current or next fad. Young people are busy with sports, part-time work, and other interests. And parents sometimes have other priorities to bringing their children to Church or Youth Group.
Authors Ken Ham and Greg Hall tackle the state of Christian colleges and come to some surprising and troubling conclusions.
Instead of handwringing, Ken Ham and Jeff Kinley share insights based on research by Britt Beemer in Ready to Return? The Need for a Fundamental Shift in church Culture to Save a Generation.
Much of what has demanded my time as a pastor since we received our review copy of this title has been the subject matter of this title. I've had to give a defense of the faith once given to the saints to those who were once counted among the saints, but now prefer to live together outside of marriage, heed the siren call of addicting substances and images, deny the divinity of Christ, and who no longer schedule funerals for their loved ones, among many other challenges of the pastoral ministry in Wyoming in 2016.
A recent conference provided me the opportunity to learn that some of the Millennial Generation see Christian apologetics as an attack rather than a defense. That was eye-opening!
Predictably, Ham recommends general Christian apologetics and creation apologetics in particular (96), with focus on the flood and ark (108). He brings up the difficult discussion Christians need to have about public education (161ff). He lays responsibility for the current situation on Christian homes and congregations (170).
Not all is lost, of course. I rejoiced that the Gospel is acknowledged as the only solution for a faithful remnant given the state of the Supreme Court of the United States (201).
I see apologetics as creating doubt in a person's non-Christian worldview. It is an exercise in clearing a field of rocks and weeds in preparation for evangelism, sharing the Gospel. Conversion is the work of God the Holy Spirit. This trilogy can face us up to our challenges. Only the Trinity can save us.
This generation already has a Savior. His Name is Jesus.
Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School and Immanuel Academy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Education Chairman and Editor of Lutheran Book Review. A graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Rev. Cain is a contributor to Lutheran Service Book, Lutheranism 101, the forthcoming LSB Hymnal Companion, and is the author of 5 Things You Can Do to Make Our Congregation a Caring Church. He has previously served Emmanuel, Green River, WY and Trinity, Morrill, NE. He is married to Ann and loves reading and listening to, composing, and making music.