Today's young adults, the Millennial generation, now 19 to 34 years of age, have significantly less regard for the Bible than do older generations. That is the general conclusion from a survey conducted for the American Bible Society by Barna Research Group.
Nearly two in five Millennials (39 percent) report that they never read the Bible, as compared to half of the total adult population. One in five (19 percent) are of the opinion that no literature is sacred or has divine origins compared to just 13 percent of the total adult population.
Half of the overall adult population in the United States say the Bible has too little influence in society and it contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life. Among Millennials only a third agree: specifically 35 percent agree that Bible contains everything a person neds to know to live a meaningful life and 30 percent agree that it is too little influence in American society.
Among research specialists, Barna's surveys are generally known to have a conservative and Evangelical Christian skew .... so it is probable that things would be even worse if the same survey were replicated by NORC at the University of Chicago or the Pew Research Center or Hartford Institute for Religion Research, which tend to have less skew.
What does this mean? For pastors, churches, ministries and ordinary Christians who want to share their faith with Millennials, it means that the authoritative use of Scripture to prove a point or answer a question is unlikely to work. The conventional structure of doctrine and moral rules by using Bible quotes and logic is less and less feasible, unless you are dealing with Christians who are largely disconnected from the contemporary intellectual environment. Alternative approaches to share the gospel have to be found.