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November 5, 2013 / BTM

Helping Kids as They Interact With Secular Society

Fellow blogger Natasha Crain of Christian Mom Thoughts recently used her professional training in marketing to analyze how people assess competing truth claims as they make spiritual decisions.  She made a case for how knowing apologetics will greatly assist kids as they navigate and try to make sense of their faith in secular society.

First off, what is Christian apologetics?  Christian apologetics make the case (or defend) the truth of the Christian faith (ie: what and why we believe what we believe).  The Biblical mandate for apologetics is based in part on 1 Peter 3:15.  Apologetics have been used by Christians for centuries to defend Christian doctrine and belief in secular and hostile societies.

Natasha writes:

It’s widely known that at least two-thirds of young adults who grew up in Christian families are turning away from Christianity today.  Almost all spiritual leaders agree that training kids with a foundation in apologetics is one of the most important things parents and churches should be doing to address this alarming trend. […]

Putting on her marketing hat, Natasha argues that as your child begins to learn about Christianity, he or she is:

[…]  learning basic facts about spiritual beliefs and subconsciously assigning importance to those facts.  For example, the most basic facts might include things like: God is good, God loves me, Jesus died for me, the Bible is important, and I should behave in a way that pleases God.  If your kids lived in a forest with no external influences, you could closely guard their understanding of these Christian beliefs and the importance they should have.  But [this] awareness is highly impacted by external factors that add other “facts” and change the relative importance of all those “facts.”

Natasha provides an illustration of what can happen to those basic Christian facts when confronted with alternative opinions such as we see in modern secular society.

natasha(Click image to enlarge)

Learning apologetics directly helps our kids critically evaluate the “facts” that enter their awareness so they can determine with confidence what is relevant and what is important.  Without such an understanding, the sheer volume of information they are being faced with today easily leads to spiritual confusion and indecisiveness.

At this stage, our kids may start to feel overwhelmed by competing truth claims, and might want to throw their hands up into the air and say: “There’s no way to know which facts are true”.  But…

Learning apologetics gives our kids tools to know they can sort out competing information in intellectually and spiritually meaningful ways; it naturally increases interest in searching for truth when a person believes there are meaningful answers available. 

[…]  Apologetics, at its core, directs people toward making spiritual decisions based on what is true.  We can’t make the right choice amongst competing alternatives unless we have the right measuring stick.  Apologetics gives kids the right measuring stick – what is true – and gives them the tools for actually doing the measuring. 

I’d add that knowing the robustness of the truth of the Christian faith has given me an incredible amount of confidence when I speak with skeptics and seekers.  From time to time, others have indicated that my confidence has made them think more seriously about Christianity.  Knowing Christian apologetics has allowed me to sift through the truth claims in the media and by people in my circle of influence everyday.

These are some of the reasons that I agree with Natasha when she says:

You need to learn apologetics and be ready to train your children with that knowledge.

We want our kids to successfully navigate the competing truth claims out there today, and to have a confidence in their faith that attracts others to it.  Christian apologetics is one of the topics that I cover in this blog.  To see apologetics related activities that I’ve previously posted on, click: “Can We Trust the Bible and Its Authors?”  To read Natasha’s entire post, click here.

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One Comment

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  1. Steve Diseb / Nov 5 2013 3:42 pm

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing this. I’ll pass it on to the parents I know…

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