How did we get here? That was the thought rolling through my brain recently as I was sitting on a plane. Not how did this plane get to this point in the trip or how does plane flight even work, but how did we as a human race get to this point in time when we seem so lost and confused. The man next to me had just shared about his life and the things he cared about most. In the midst of the conversation, he made a startling statement, “I have lost seven of my kids to heroin “. He quickly made it clear that he did not actually have seven children, but that he had been involved in coaching boys Lacrosse at a very competitive level for a number of years. Many of those boys were in their twenties now and finished their Lacrosse careers. Somewhere along the way, they began experimenting with drugs and now a number of them had lost their lives. When I asked him why he thought this had happened, he said that he thought it came down to a loss of hope. What did that mean? How could bright, active, highly competitive young men come to the conclusion that there was no real purpose in life and certainly no hope for the future?
While there are many reasons that one can point to for our current state of confusion, I am convinced that at the core it is a spiritual problem. With the advent of so much technology in our world, our adversary, the Devil, has convinced an entire generation that they do not have to learn or believe anything for themselves. In fact, holding strong convictions about reality might even be unwise, because who knows when that “theory” will be disproven. Instead, why not simply rely on the ever evolving bastion of all truth – Wikipedia – and similar websites when there is a need to know anything. This reality was on full display recently with a widely viewed YouTube video where a young man went onto a college campus and started asking some outrageous questions. You have to watch the video in its entirety to understand how confused this generation really is. Suffice it to say that by the end of the video, he (a short white guy) was able to convince several people that he actually might be a tall Chinese woman. Simple visual confirmation of reality is no longer sufficient.
While our enemy is using this tactic of digital disguise on many non-believing young people, he is using another even more insidious tactic with Christian young people. Many are being convinced that the Bible is no longer reliable and that having certainty about anything is really impossible. This week, I had dinner with a young couple who recently graduated from a Christian college. They told of the confusion that is permeating Bible classes as professors regularly refer to parts of the Bible as mythology and make it clear that other parts are not accurate. Instead of helping students to work through doubts and concerns about the reliability of the Bible, they are creating more and more. No wonder then that with the legs taken out from the inerrancy of scripture that all kinds of strange theological conclusions can be drawn about issues that are not unclear in the Bible.
With all of this in mind, I am deeply convicted that God can use the printed page to break through this foggy haze that Satan is creating with tweets, inflammatory Facebook comments and biased blog posts. It is my view that there has never been a more important time to put down our devices and pick up a book (unless your book is on a device). If you have some confused young people in your life or if you are one of those confused people yourselves, here is a great list of books to get you started:
- Know What You Believe by Paul Little
- The Reason for God by Tim Keller
- Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- The Universe Next Door by James Sire
- The Faith by Charles Colson
- The God Who is There by Francis Schaeffer
As my plane was getting ready to land, I could not help but wonder what might have gone differently, if even one of those seven boys had encountered the truth of the gospel. Of this I am certain, there is only one real hope for the future and that is in the God who created us all in the first place. It is my life’s work to introduce Him to others one book at a time.