I’d be happy to tell you about Factbridge. About 2011, I read a statistic that said 70-75% of students raised in Christian homes who went away to university stopped going to church. That bothered me. I did more research and learned the about 20% of those students had planned to stop going to church when at university before they ever left. But that means that 50-55% of students had planned to attend church while at university but stopped.
I knew decades ago while I was at university that some students raised in Christian homes stopped going to church. I would have put the number at 20-25%. Why the huge increase? What was different? I also knew that many of those who stopped during their university years came back to church after getting married and having children. But according to the statistics I was reading, students were not coming back to church after their university years. Why the change? What’s going on at the university that is so corrosive to faith?
Then I read that many university professors see the secular university as a factory producing secular graduates. This quote is a good example of that attitude:
“Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion, should be done and may, in fact, in the end, be our greatest contribution to civilization.” - Steven Weinberg
So I put together a survey of 11 questions and began surveying students. Questions like “Is it ever possible to know absolute truth about anything?” “Is the Big Bang supportive of the idea of a Creator God?” Is the fine-tuned universe supportive of the idea of a Creator God?" “Does God exist?”
At the end of the survey, I said “Thanks for taking part in the survey. Did you find the questions interesting?” We would have a nice conversation. Then they would turn it around on me and ask “why are you doing this? Are you a Christian? Are you a pastor?”
Almost invariably I would hear something like “Too bad Christianity is a dying religion.” I would ask why they said that and they would say “Christianity is a dying religion because no educated adult would become a Christian. The only Christians left are those who haven’t yet been educated out of their superstition.”
Of course, I knew that wasn’t true, but I also knew that the atheist professors at the university were very comfortable talking about their worldview while the Christian professors at the university were far less likely to talk about their faith or the reasons for their faith. As a result, students were only getting one side of the evidence. What was needed was bridge made of facts that would transport students and faculty from disbelief to belief.
I wrote a little booklet called Why Three Brilliant Atheists Became Christians and it tells the conversion stories of Francis Collins, Allan Sandage and Lee Strobel. You can read it free online at http://factbridge.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/WhyBooklet.pdf
If you want to give away hard copies of the booklet, you can order copies at https://priorityliving.webconnex.com/factbridge-books
Since then we have run focus groups at universities around the country. At the focus group, the students are asked to take the survey, then read the booklet and then take the survey again. In that way we can see how much the booklet has changed their opinions. The booklet has been shown to strengthen the faith of Christians and to make non-Christians more open to the gospel message.
But this is just the beginning for Factbridge.