"These students heard plenty of messages encouraging "social justice," community involvement, and "being good," but they seldom saw the relationship between that message, Jesus Christ, and the Bible. Listen to Stephanie, a student at Northwestern: "The connection between Jesus and a person's life was not clear." This is an incisive critique. She seems to have intuitively understood that the church does not exist simply to address social ills, but to proclaim the teachings of its founder, Jesus Christ, and their relevance to the world. Since Stephanie did not see that connection, she saw little incentive to stay. We would hear this again."
As a Lutheran I would rather say we must "proclaim Jesus Christ and his teachings", lest we turn Jesus into just another founder of a religion rather the the Redeemer of humankind, but the import of Stephanie's criticism is clear. As a former young atheist (before it was fashionable), the responses in this article seemed very familiar. Read the whole thing here.
There are many good Christian responses to the so-called new atheism out there; one I recommend to put into the hands of aspiring young atheists is 'Atheist Delusions' by David Bentley Hart, available in Australia through Koorong for $24.00. I don't agree with every facet of Hart's presentation of Christianity, but his critique of the new atheism is withering. How I wish Hart's book had been around when I was fifteen!
Thanks to colleague pastor Peter Kriewaldt for drawing my attention to the article.