APOLOGETICS: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk with him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6–7 (ESV)
We realize that you, as parents, are the primary faith influencers in a young person’s life. The best disciple-making takes place when students’ parents take the lead. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide for you to use at home with your child. It is designed to give you some basic information about what is being taught at church through The Core: A Deep Discipleship program, along with some helpful tools, suggestions, and questions to help you reinforce this learning at home.
Overview of the Apologetics Root:
The Bible encourages us to defend our faith: “Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (1 Pet. 3:15 ESV). That’s the point of apologetics—to explain our hope in Christ to others. We shouldn’t do this in an overbearing way, as if we’re hitting people over the head. On the other hand, we shouldn’t detach ourselves from the rest of the world, too concerned with our own safety or offending someone that we never impact others. If we’re confident in the truth God has given us, then we won’t be ashamed to respectfully engage our culture in productive ways.
Main Topics Covered:
1) The Apologetics Intro Lesson: This lesson will help students gain a framework for what Apologetics is and how God’s truth interacts with their lives. Apologetics means you know what you believe, and you’re ready to answer questions about it. Students will learn to identify what is true and what their faith is based on, and they will sculpt a testimony they can share with others.
2) Faith in Culture: How do I live out my faith when I’m surrounded by the faithless? The question of how to engage our culture is a tough one for most Christians, especially students. This lesson will give a few examples of followers of God who approached the topic of faith in culture the right way. Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:19–23
3) The Resurrection: Why did Jesus have to rise again? This lesson focuses on how important Jesus’ resurrection is to proving the truth of everything else he said. When he rose again, he did exactly what he said he would, even though it seemed impossible. If he is trustworthy in the extreme and seemingly impossible, how much more should we trust him in the little things and the other truths he gave us? Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:14–22
4) Testimony: What is my faith story? This lesson will focus on the importance of sharing your faith story through real relationships with people. It will also show how an individual’s faith story can help others find faith. Finally, this lesson will challenge students to think through how to tell their own faith story. Bible Passage: 1 Thessalonians 2:1–13
5) Unbending Truth: How do I know what’s true? This lesson focuses on the idea that all truth is God’s truth. The absolute truth of the Bible is true at all times and everywhere. This truth also matches up to the world we live in. Bible Passage: 2 Timothy 3:10–17
Questions you can ask your child:
- Where/when is it hard for you to be a Christian?
- Has anyone ever questioned your faith, mocked you for being a Christian, or mocked Christianity in general while you were around them? How did you handle it? Did you feel compelled to stand up for your faith and defend Christianity? If so, how did it go?
- Where do you see God’s absolute truth being questioned and doubted? What do you think we should do about this? Do we run from it or engage?
- Do you think your classmates would know you were a Christ-follower if you didn’t tell them? How would they know? Do you think they would treat you differently if they knew?
Activities you can do together:
Many cities have free or discounted museums that you can go to with your child. Take some time exploring the exhibits at this museum. Marvel at dinosaur fossils or read plaques about ancient human tools. Learn something new that you didn’t know before. Or go to a planetarium, where you can learn about the cosmos and the planets, stars, and galaxies filling it. If you don’t live near anything like that, watch a documentary with your student about a subject you know nothing about. (Don’t worry, not all documentaries are boring!)
Afterward, talk with your child about what you just experienced. What did you learn about God’s creation that you didn’t know before? Did anything surprise you? Did anything seem at odds with what the Bible says about the world? Remember, your goal shouldn’t be to disprove the scientific discoveries you learned about. Nor should it be to reconsider the Bible’s trustworthiness. All truth is God’s truth, and that means science and faith aren’t necessarily at odds. Sometimes you’ll come across something that is blatantly opposed to Scripture’s truth. If that’s the case, discuss why the Bible is trustworthy in all situations. But it isn’t our job to figure out how every scientific discovery fits with what the Bible says is true. Sometimes, it’s okay to admit that God’s truth is bigger than we are, and that some things we will never understand.