In a global culture that is fast becoming secularized and hostile to religion and the Christian faith in particular, the church has a responsibility to prepare its congregants and especially its children and young adults for Christian apologetics. Apologetics is merely giving a reason and justifying one’s faith. This will not only ground them in the faith and equip them to have an objective foundation for their faith, it will also help them give an answer to everyone who asks them a reason for their hope, particularly as they enter faith war-zones in colleges and universities. Without this foundation, our kids are likely to take books like the Da Vinci Code and mistake them for truth. Most young adults lose their faith in colleges and the main reason they give is that they find Christianity to be “intellectually shallow” (attrition statistics vary, but they should be of concern us). This is why it is important to have a concerted effort between the church and the home, the family, to take steps together to familiarize our children with the ideas that will challenge their faith before sending them out as sheep among wolves, as it were. They need to be aware of the tests they will encounter regarding their faith and learn how to intellectually (and spiritually) engage and interact with those who ridicule their faith without flinching or feeling idiotic. You cannot defend what you do not know. Apologetics answers objections to the faith and builds the faith and intellectual inquiry of the defender. If we neglect this, we will have abdicated our responsibility and in our place will arise “another generation …, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done …” (Joshua 2:10 KJV). This is the time to take seriously the command that “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul… And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 11:18,19 KJV). It is no longer enough to merely raise good boys and girls. We must prepare them to fight the good fight of faith; to be confident men and women, rooted and grounded in their faith. We must pass on a bright torch to our children, not one dimmed by uncertainty, retreat and hesitancy otherwise our children will end up with a distorted view of Christianity. The battle for people’s souls is raging and it will only intensify with time. Apologetics should be part of regular sermons and weekly Bible studies. It should even be part of children’s story time. Children should understand Jesus is a Person. He is not a myth. His historicity is as axiomatic as that of Alexander the Great. Parents should study hard to keep their children in the faith. Praying for them fervently and teaching them how to study their Bibles and draw life-applications from them. Allow your children to ask the questions they are wrestling with. Let them explain to you what salvation means to them. Help them understand that evolution has not debunked the existence of God. Let them understand that science is not against God, but rather explains what God has already made. They should know that there is nothing wrong with faith. The atheist uses it when he or she claims that the universe is their creator or that life sprang from some primordial soup. They were not there to witness the process. Therefore, they are relying on faith that it happened as they believe it did. Christians believe that God created the heavens and the earth. They were not there to witness the creation, but they believe it. Both sided have faith. It is just a matter of where one chooses to place it. Faith is not credulity. That is why the apostle John indicates that “These things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God” (John). The things John is talking about are the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ and the testimonies of the eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the church continues to bury its head in the sand, this is what atheists vow to do to our children when they enter college: “we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own…we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization….So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable…” [1]. Apologetics is not a new phenomenon. Jesus faced the Sadducees and defended His reason for believing in the resurrection which they were trying to repudiate. This is not to advocate that Christian students should enter college to fight with those who challenge their faith, but that they should be confident of being able to withstand attacks on what they believe without flinching or feeling intellectually shallow. Alvin Plantinga, a Christian Philosopher said, “The contemporary Western intellectual world is a battleground or arena in which rages a battle for men’s souls,” [2].
Sources
[1]. ‘Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics, pp. 21-22.

[2] Ratio Christi (2016). Are Christian Students Really Ridiculed and Humiliated? Accessed from http://ratiochristi.org/about-us/why-important

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