Book Review – Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation

Ready to Return

When it comes to the next generation of believers, the body of Christ has a serious problem. Many young people, especially those going off to college, do not return back to the fold meaning something leads them to stray from the faith. The statistics are startling and should be cause for alarm. In his books Already Gone and Already Comprised, Ken Ham took an in-depth look at what is causing this departure. To a large degree, the problem resides in the serious lack of biblical truth being taught in churches today beginning in the foundational book of Genesis. With those core foundations being rejected, it is no wonder many other key issues of the faith have come under fire with the result being this mass departure by the youth with many never returning.

In his follow up book aptly titled Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation, Ham saliently outlines some key strategies for correcting the issues identified in his previous two books on this subject matter. He challenges the popular approach of acquiescing to post-modern thought and cultural relevance at the expense of biblical truth and dares to suggest that in order to fix the departure problem of our youth, it might just make good sense to get back to sound biblical teaching, jettisoning the compromising positions far too many churches have taken over the years.

Now Ken Ham makes it quite clear where he stands on issues such as origins. He is after all head of a young earth creationist organization and thus is very passionate about that particular subject. There will be many who might question whether the book of Genesis or origins in general has anything really to do with the problem we are seeing with the youth in our churches departing and not returning. As evinced in Ham’s previous books, the statistics and interviews with those youth reveal the questioning of what can be considered as foundational biblical precepts, in particular the truths found in Genesis was just that – the genesis for their departure. Ham reiterates the startling statistics in this book just in case there is any question as to the root of the problem.

He challenges the church to “repent of our low view of Scripture, humble ourselves, and learn the lesson God taught the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3”. A proper defense of the faith must stem from a high view of Scripture and that high view must infiltrate every aspect of how we approach, understand, apply, and teach the truth of God’s Word. As Ham aptly notes, having a high view of Scripture “is the cure for our blindness and the blandness so prevalent in the Church today.”

I appreciated Ham’s picture of describing the faith as a bit like a baton race with one generation handing off things to the next. We have greatly fumbled of late the passing of the baton. Failure to properly pass on the truths of the faith diligently and correctly can and does result in future generations straying farther from the foundations of the faith. We are seeing that take place today. As Ham correctly reminds us, “we must make it a top priority to train, equip, mentor, and model an effective apologetic for this generation of young believers living in a post-modern world.” This training must start with children when they are very young and it must continue in a consistent manner all the way through adulthood.

Ham makes a great plug for homeschooling which I also greatly appreciated. He does realize that for many families, homeschooling is just not an option. For those who send their children to a Christian school, they must still be aware of what their child is learning. Given the statistics that Ham continually presents in this book, it is clear that even Christian schools have gone down the road of compromise, particular on the issue of origins. We know public schools teach evolution so the challenge exists for parents to combat that line of influence as well.

This is a war, one for the hearts and minds of our youth. Ham’s book is a call to action and a timely one. The longer we fail to engage in the battle, the more startling the statistics will become. All hope is not lost of course, but it is time for the people of God to return to foundational biblical truth starting from the first pages of Genesis. This is a book I highly recommend for all believers, in particular elementary, middle school, and high school pastors, parents, and anyone who regularly engages with youth, small or ready to go off to college.

This book is available for purchase from Master Books clicking here.

I received this book for free via Cross Focused Reviews from Master Books and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Ken Ham – Desensitized to Death?

ham_hires The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:26)

The Bible tells us that death is an “enemy,” and that one day it will be “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14).

I know “desensitized” is not a commonly used word, but I use it to challenge us with this question: Have even Christians become desensitized to death? I ask this question after reading a number of comments on my public Facebook page and the AiG Facebook page after we posted some observations about the new blockbuster dinosaur movie, Jurassic World.

I watched Jurassic World last week because I knew people would ask our opinion of a film about dinosaurs. Of course, once I gave my opinion, a number of people got upset with me! But, I’m used to this kind of reaction: it seems whatever I write, some people will object to it—that’s the nature of this life. The posting of negative comments is also a part of the nature of the Internet: it allows people to express opinions they may not have thought through carefully enough!

Now, I called the movie violent and “gory” because a lot of humans were killed and eaten by dinosaurs in this film. Plus dinosaurs are eating dinosaurs—it’s all very graphic. After all, a common definition of “gory” is: “involving or showing violence and bloodshed.”

People posted Facebook comments saying that the movie wasn’t that gory—that kids are used to such killing in movies and TV programs. One lady appeared insulted that I seemed to tell her she shouldn’t send her kids to see such a movie! Well, I didn’t tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do—just that I wouldn’t want my grandkids seeing it because it was gory—yes, gory.

I also pointed out that there were some references to evolution in the film, and many people commented that this fact wouldn’t stop their family seeing it since that content would help them point out the evolutionary statements. But as far as I could see, not one person who said they were taking their family to see the movie said they would make sure they discussed, for example, the issue of death from a biblical perspective. In fact, I think many Christians have become “desensitized” to death! And I think so many in the younger generations are not challenged to think about death— including as presented in this new movie—in a correct, biblical way.

With the instance of when Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus, many Bible scholars explain that this account shows He was a true man (the God-man) exhibiting sympathy and compassion. But it also shows that He was angry at death. Christ was about to deal death its “death blow” by dying on the Cross and being raised again. You see, all human beings are under the judgment of death because of sin (Genesis 3). In fact, when we experience that horrible separation between us and a loved one who dies, we need to be reminded of how a much greater separation has occurred between us and our God because of sin. Yes, death is an enemy! We also need to remember that for those who do not receive the free gift of salvation, the Bible tells us they will suffer a “second death” (Revelation 20:14).

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Ken Ham – The Chasm Is Widening: Are You on God’s Side?

The increasing anti-Christian attacks in America should be a warning to the church that the chasm is widening between what is Christian and what is not in this nation.

People can no longer straddle both sides of the chasm. It’s getting very wide. They will have to finally decide which side they are on! And if those who are on God’s side stand their ground on His Word without compromise, then they may face persecution in various forms.

But who will be strong enough to stand with the Lord? Who will be prepared to do what Martin Luther did when he is reported to have said, “Here I stand [on Scripture]. I can do no other. God help me.” Luther knew that such a stand could result in imprisonment and even death. If we were in such a position today, would we be willing to risk our freedom or even our life for the sake of God’s Word?

Could it come to that in this nation? I suggest this country is moving closer to that terrible time. Increasingly, orthodox Christians are being looked on as the enemy in America. We are being called “child abusers,” “intolerant,” and “judgmental.”

Arizona State University professor and well-known atheist Lawrence Krauss recently went on a crusade of sorts in the USA and Australia. As other secularists have often done, he is accusing Christian parents who teach their children about creation or hell of committing “child abuse.”
Furthermore, Krauss has strongly implied that homeschooled children of such Christian parents should be taken away from home. This belief is becoming prevalent.

Could the U.S. government ever take children away from their parents if authorities deem parents to be unfit because they are homeschooling their children and teaching about creation or hell?

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Ken Ham, Steve Golden, Jeremy Ham, and David Chakranarayan – Does the Bible Tell Christians to Judge Not?

We live in a world that increasingly strives to (supposedly) promote the idea of tolerance, but actually becomes intolerant of Christian absolutes as it does so. Whether it involves religion, behavior, or human sexuality, there is a growing anti-Christian sentiment in America and other Western nations. Ultimately, built into this “tolerance” is the concept that truth is determined by each individual, not by God. This has led many people to conclude that making judgments on anyone (especially coming from Christians) is wrong because the Bible says ””judge not”” (Matthew 7:1). Interestingly enough, those who reject the notion of God or the credibility of the Bible often attempt to use God’s Word (e.g., by quoting verses out of context) to excuse their actions when they are presented with the gospel and the plight of sinners for rejecting it.
The Authority on Judging

Scripture makes it very clear that there is one supreme Judge of all—the Lord God—and that He alone has the authority to determine right and wrong motives and behaviors.

Many Old Testament passages attest to the truth of God as Judge:

“God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11)

“He shall judge the world in righteousness, and he shall administer judgments for the people in uprightness.” (Psalm 9:8)

“Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God himself is Judge. Selah” (Psalm 50:6)

“For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22)

The Old Testament is rife with passages that establish God as the ultimate Judge. When we come to the New Testament, we find that the Father has committed authority and judgment to the Son. Jesus spoke of this authority before He ascended to heaven after the Resurrection (Matthew 28:18).

““For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”” (John 5:22)

““I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”” (John 12:46–48)

“Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

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Ken Ham – The Lie: Evolution (Genesis—The Key to Defending Your Faith)

After a lecture, a young man approached me — “What you said . . . it’s suddenly like a light bulb lighting up in my head!” A young lady standing nearby stated, “I realized today that my understanding of Christianity was like starting in the middle of a movie — you took me back to the beginning — now I understand what it is all about.” A middle-aged man approached, “This information is like a key. It not only unlocks the reason as to why we have problems in society today — it’s the key to knowing how to be much more effective in witnessing for Jesus Christ. . . . Thank you.”

These are challenging days. On the whole, society is becoming more anti-Christian. We are seeing steady increases in homosexuality, support for abortion on demand, unwillingness to obey authorities, unwillingness to work, marriage being abandoned, clothing being abandoned, an increase in pornography, and an increase in lawlessness, to name but a few areas. Christians are fighting for their freedom even in so-called “Christian” nations.

What has happened in society to bring about these changes? Why is it that many people are cynical when you talk about Christ and seem to be closed to the gospel? There must be some foundational reason for this change. In this book we will discover the basic reasons why modern society has turned away from Christ. More importantly, a biblical (and hence, successful) way to reclaim lives for our Saviour will be outlined for you. Years ago, our society was based on Christian absolutes. People knew what was right and what was wrong. Behaviors such as sexual deviancy, easy divorce, public lawlessness,
abortion on demand, pornography, and public nudity were considered to be wrong. Varying punishments for offenders were meted out by society. Value judgments were basically built on biblical principles (for example, the Ten Commandments). Most people accepted or respected a belief in God.

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Tony Breeden – Was Noah A Millionaire? James McGrath’s Theology Stumbles On Scripture

What you’re about to read is what happens when a man who doubts the historical veracity of the Bible finds something in the Bible that contradicts his loosely Bible-inspired theology. Basically, he’s stubbed an opinion on a passage of Scripture. It’s sad. It’s instructive. It underscores the truth of Jesus’ warning in John 3:12 about the interconnectedness of earthly facts and heavenly truths.

Dr. James F McGrath recently posed the snide question “Does Ken Ham Think Noah Was A Millionaire?” His reasoning, if we may use that term loosely, is that the Ark Encounter’s modern-day price tag is $24.5 million dollars. Tellingly, he scoffs alongside atheists like PZ Myers over the fact that the Ark Encounter project has raised only $4 million of the money needed, to date. That McGrath takes his seat with the scoffers should give us a clue how low his view of Scripture is.

In fact, in a rather misleading statement, he says:

“Why does one need even 4 million dollars to demonstrate the literal truthfulness of an ancient story about a lone man, without modern technology, perhaps helped by some family members and slaves, building a box-shaped boat capable of housing two or seven of all kinds of animals, if Answers in Genesis and their interpretation of the Noah story is correct?”

We pause here to correct a handful of erroneous notions evident in McGrath’s analysis.

First, we note that the height, width and length of the Ark are indeed given in the Bible, but this in no wise means that the Ark was box-shaped, any more than giving the basic height, width and length of a modern yacht or cargo ship require a box shape. If he had bothered to do the research [he either hasn’t, evidencing willful ignorance, or he has and he hopes to purposely mislead folks], he’d know that Biblical Creationists affirm that these are the basic dimensions of the Ark and that, while a box shape would in no wise invalidate the Genesis account, there’s quite a bit of creative room within those dimensions.

Second, even if Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth worked alone on the Ark, is McGrath suggesting that the feat could not have been completed in a time frame of 120 years?? Ridiculous!

Thirdly, McGrath makes the point that Noah built the Ark without modern technology. I remind him that Stonehenge and the pyramids were built without modern technology and modern technicians marvel at these feats because they are not able to determine how such things were accomplished in the timeframes history records. Of course, McGrath and others who scratch their heads at how the pyramids were built by “primitive” peoples with “primitive” technology are begging the evolutionary question. The Bible records that man was never primitive in this sense, but has degraded to such “primitive” conditions in many cases.

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