Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And what should that tell you?

Answers in Genesis has a book called Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it, which purports to be based on a "first scientific study of its kind" which they refer to as "The Beemer Report" (after one of the co-authors of the book), that was really just a big phone survey of ex-Evangelicals.

It's weird that they refer to it as "The Beemer Report" like it is some external and readily available thing, when as far as I can tell the "Report" seems to exist purely within the realm of promotional materials for the Already Gone book. Methinks that's a little disingenuous, and it makes me wonder if they are trying to hide something about the methodology... but that's not what I want to talk about. For now, I am going to accept the claims of the Beemer report at face value.

And this brings us to:

Those who regularly attend Sunday School are more likely to believe that the Bible is less true.

Heh. Assuming this is true, the conclusion to be drawn from this data is so painfully obvious I won't even bother to state it.

A few other various guffaws about Already Gone:

  • On the AiG web page pimping the book, there is only one endorsement of the book... provided by Ken Ham, the primary author. Facepalm!
  • The books are sold by the case. And not just if you ask; that appears to be how AiG prefers to sell them. The pricing for a case of 48 is listed first, followed by the pricing for a 10-pack. You only see the pricing for a single copy if you go to buy one. In addition, any time the pricing is mentioned on the Already Gone blog, they refer to buying a case.
  • Chapter One of the book is available online, and I noticed that the majority of the footnotes are URLs. Really scholarly work there, Ham.
  • The chapter frequently uses "church" as a verb, as in, "20% [of ex-evangelicals were] churched as teen, spiritually active at age 29" (emphasis mine). I can't quite put my finger on why this bothers me, but I find it creepy as all hell.

I got tired of reading the online chapter, but I'm sure there is plenty of other weird shit in there too.


  1. Hey, I fit that leaving the church/bible is less true demographic, so do both my kids! Although, I really only made them attend SS because I wanted them to know the biblical stories for art history, etc. I didn't mind when they quit going, but we all went to SS/Church regularly for years. I don't miss it (still end up going at Easter if my parents are visiting, otherwise never go).

    Can't sign in to Open ID for some reason today...I hate this thing. Dawn

  2. Re: Church as verb. You often hear evangelicals use the term "unchurched" to refer to either non-religious/differently-religious people or nominal Christians who don't attend churches. And yes, it is creepy as all hell to encounter someone referring to you as "unchurched". (I was going to include examples, but this edit box won't let me paste - or use the cursor keys! - so go google "unchurched" yourself for creepy wacky fun time.)

  3. @Dawn,

    As I may have mentioned before, my wife de-converted from Judaism after reading the Old Testament end-to-end. Sometimes I wish I had a dramatic deconversion story like that, instead of my long rambling gradual tale :)