The Best Bets for Purposefully Building Unshakeable Faith
Happy 2016 everyone!
I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past few months about what I want to accomplish in order to purposefully build unshakeable faith in our two boys. I am always considering what I want them to know by the time they leave home (which I am conveniently ball parking at 20 years old!).
This means that I only have 10 years left with our oldest son.
That might induce some of you to roll your eyes. Ten years? Tons of time!
But, if you are a parent, think about how fast that first 10 years went by. If you’re anything like me, the answer is: FAST.
Through conversation with like-minded people, some internet research, and a lot of thinking, I’ve decided on a three-part go-forward plan for my own work with our kids which will naturally become the focus of the BTM blog site.
Read on to see what is ahead for BTM in 2016 and beyond.
The focus of the content of BTM going forward will largely be around 20 topic areas that have been identified as the most likely to shock or challenge a young person’s faith. These topics are most likely first encountered in college or university (i.e. by the time a person is 20-years old).
I’ll explain my 20 b4 twenty list in the weeks to come in more detail. For now, I’ll say that some of these topic areas will be areas of controversy or debate, and I will endeavour to clarify the key issues surrounding them (e.g. the nature of truth; the allegation that science and faith are incompatible; the notion that God is a human invention). Some will focus on developmental issues (i.e. experiencing doubt or a crisis of faith; feeling let down or disappointed by God). Still others will examine evidence around certain topics areas (e.g. the origin of the universe and of life; the historical reliability of the Bible; how we can know if Jesus even existed). Others are topics that have been identified as lacking in young people today (e.g. an understanding of key doctrine).
Many of the questions and topics I’ll explore as part of 20 b4 twenty are based on facts and evidence. When I discuss them, I will try to discern what the minimal facts are on the topic at hand. By ‘minimal facts’ I mean those facts which all experts in the field have concluded are certain or very probable surrounding the topic in question.
To be certain, when one is dealing with facts there is always common ground. The difference is almost always in how those agreed upon facts are interpreted (which in itself is an interesting question that I will probe into some more).
This is the approach that Gary Habermas took when he was investigating the evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. He identified five pieces of evidence (or five minimal facts) that virtually every expert in the relevant field agreed were historically attested and verifiable. These experts did not always come to the same conclusions about how to interpret the facts, but they all consented to the five minimal facts.
For as many topics as possible, I will endeavour to lay out these minimal facts, using quotes or information from skeptics of Christianity and atheists as much as possible to establish them.
A hallmark of the BTM blog has always been helping parents to educate themselves in Christian apologetics and other topics relevant to faith and culture, and then providing ideas on how to creatively pass that knowledge on to their children, whatever their ages. However, I want to increase the applicability of the BTM content for people who are learning the material for themselves.
I will do my best, wherever possible, to continue to come up with creative applications, illustrations, and teaching resources around the material to enable you to do just this.
This is where I’ll be going in 2016 … and beyond. I hope you will join me, and invite others to as well!