Berkeley and NYU Protests Are Evidence That Millennials Are Longing to Belong, Even as They Leave Faith; New Book by Religion and Culture Expert Dr. Alex McFarland Explores How to Bring Them Home
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—A trend on American university campuses has seemingly begun.
Last week, separate violent protests broke out on the campuses of the University of California, Berkeley, and at New York University over conservative speakers invited to address students. At NYU on Thursday evening, the speaker himself, Gavin McInnes, was hit by pepper spray, while Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance at Berkeley was cancelled.
National religion and culture expert and author Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com) is another speaker who has addressed tens of thousands of college students over his 20-year career, even sometimes disinvited for his own views. And McFarland says these millennials who are protesting are searching for something—longing to belong—yet are walking away from their faith.
“We know that young people want to belong to something bigger than themselves, something that has purpose beyond their years here on Earth,” McFarland said. “And unfortunately, many of them are choosing to follow the crowd and whoever is the loudest. Often, they find a sense of belonging with those who spur them to action, even in anger.
Yet,” McFarland continued, “while they are searching for meaning and longing to belong, they are walking away from their faith in droves. The reasons for their departure are varied, from being disillusioned with the church, doubting the Bible or shunning faith because of a negative past experience. But whatever the reason, it is crucial that those who love these millennials do everything we can to bring them back home to the life God has planned for them. What the world is calling them to is clearly not working and will cause them harm of which they are unaware.”
McFarland is the co-author of the new book, “Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home,” available for pre-order now at AlexMcFarland.com, with an official release date from Tyndale Publishing and Focus on the Family of March 1 (in stores March 7).
For “Abandoned Faith,” McFarland and co-author Jason Jimenez interview top Christian leaders who work with millennials and families. Their research and conversations shed new light on what Christian parents must do to reach their young adult children. “Abandoned Faith” also offers a strong voice of hope for parents, church leaders and others who serve the millennial generation.
The recent university protests, McFarland said, are indicative of a larger picture of American higher education in general.
“What’s happening at Berkeley and NYU is typical of much of the American academic landscape, where viewpoints that counter the accepted narrative are squelched,” said McFarland. “Violence is incited by a worldview that shows that millennials have abandoned their faith because they are without a solid foundation grounded in truth—and that chasm is being widened by today’s colleges and universities. The situation on many university campuses is proof that so much of American education is not about education but indoctrination, and divergent views are not tolerated.”
Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, constitute a group of more than 80 million individuals who are technologically astute, ethnically diverse, and culturally and vibrantly engaged. Yet they face high unemployment and massive debt. These characteristics, coupled with the fact that they comprise the largest number of religiously unaffiliated Americans, should be concerning to every parent, grandparent, pastor and potential employer.
McFarland’s new blog at www.AlexMcFarland.com features posts such as “It’s the End of Celebrities Fawning over the White House as We Knew It, and I Feel Fine,” “5 Strategies for Reaching Skeptics,” “Pitch These 9 Fallacies Before Making Moral Choices” and “Don’t Let Our Kids Be Eaten by Lions.” Read more here.
Also serving as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University (www.ngu.edu) in Greenville, S.C., McFarland is the author of “Stand Strong America,” “The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity,” “10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer,” “10 Issues that Divide Christians,” “10 Answers for Skeptics” and the “Stand” series of devotions for teens. McFarland is an expert in the field of apologetics—the practice of defending the Christian faith in a world where faith in Christ is plummeting at alarming rates.
McFarland has spent years working with young people and takes their questions to heart. He has preached in more than 1,300 churches and has been featured at conferences such as the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Focus on the Family’s “Big Dig” and California’s “Spirit West Coast,” sharing the platform with Chuck Colson, Eric Metaxas, Josh McDowell and others.
Part evangelist, part apologist, part educator and part broadcaster, McFarland focuses on communicating the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. He co-hosts the daily, live radio program “Exploring the Word” on American Family Radio’s Talk Network, heard on more than 125 stations across the country, and the weekly television show “Viral Truth,” airing on the National Religious Broadcasters Network, which he co-hosts with Jimenez.
For more information on Dr. Alex McFarland, visit www.AlexMcFarland.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @AlexMcFarland.
To book Dr. Alex McFarland for interviews, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.