5 Reasons Christian Teens Need Apologetics

There are many reasons why providing Christian youth with apologetics training is vitally important.  Before teaching students how to give reasons for why they believe Christianity to be true, we must first be ready to help them understand that Christianity is rational so that they are ready to engage the flood of ideologies they are encountering.

There are many influences that are potentially giving them reasons not to believe.

 

1.  Social Media is a huge influence in their lives.

Courtesy mkhmarketing from flickr.com
Courtesy mkhmarketing from flickr.com
Through the technology of smart phones, our kids are connected to people like never before.  And while some parents haven’t embraced Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other such connection platforms, our kids have.  According to a Pew study published last year, 94% of teens have social media accounts.  Those using Facebook have an average of 425 friends.  That’s 425 people having an influence in teen’s lives everywhere they go.
 
2. The Bible stories they learned as kids aren’t sufficient for faith.
Courtesy Siobhan Harrison from flickr.com
Courtesy Siobhan Harrison from flickr.com

While the caricatures of the animals on Noah’s ark and Daniel in the lions’ den make are cute, they convey that the events depicted are fiction.  What differentiates how little ones view Bible stories from Dr. Seuss stories?  Also, our use of words such as “story” and “characters” when teaching the Bible serve to discredit the events as being real.  As a result, as kids grow up, some struggle with trusting the Biblical accounts as reliable.

 

3.  As a result of the above items, teens are asking more questions. 

Even if it is just in their heads, they are wondering about morality, mortality, the reliability of the Bible, the possibility of miracles, and dozens of other questions that directly impact their faith.   They need to  be encouraged to ask these questions.  These questions aren’t harmful to someone’s Christian faith.  Having influential adults dismiss these questions by saying “You just gotta believe'” is harmful.

 

4.  Many of their parents don’t have a Christian worldview.  

According to a Barna group survey, more than half of self-professed Christians don’t believe there is absolute truth.  Only half of Christians believe the Bible to be true, and almost one fourth of the Christians who responded to the survey believe that Jesus sinned during his life on earth.   As an extension of these facts, many Christian teens are being raised in homes in which fundamental truths about Christianity are not believed.

 

5.  In college, they will not be encouraged to be free-thinkers.  

Courtesy ash.hershberger from flickr.com
Courtesy ash.hershberger from flickr.com

There is a misconception that college is an environment in which students are trained to think for themselves.  This is just not true.  Through state and many private universities, students are not taught to think for themselves, but rather are told they need to jettison their religion beliefs in favor of intellectually fulfilling pursuits.    Without being equipped with a solid Christian worldview and reasons for faith, many kids will leave college with an entirely new set of ideas and ways of looking at the world.

 

I encourage teens to ask questions and to know why they believe whatever it is they believe.  Only in doing this can one really be certain of what their own beliefs are and the reasons to believe them.  Young people need to know that Christians are not avoiding tough questions or not thinking through the implications of faith in Jesus.   By educating teens in apologetics, they are then prepared to engage in new material in college and properly evaluate ideas that compete with, or contradict, Christianity.

 

Question:  Do you think apologetics training is important for youth today?  Did you receive any such training as a teen?  I would love to hear from you on this topic. 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “5 Reasons Christian Teens Need Apologetics

  1. It is not just the teen that needs Apologetics. It is to my embarrassment that it took 20 years of being a Christian before I tired of pretending and began to face my self-imposed illusions about Christianity in general and my walk in the Spirit in particular. I now disciple a few young adults and will be helping with teens later this month.

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    • Ian,

      I completely agree that adults need apologetics as much as teens do. In many instances, I think parents are not equipped in areas of answering tough questions about believing in Jesus and therefore don’t address this important subject with their kids. In churches I have been a part of in the past, there is a culture that frowns upon a believer questioning or doubting their Christian faith. There has been an expectation that belief comes from the heart, not the mind. God gave us our emotions for the purpose of feeling and our minds for the purpose of thinking. Since he has given us both, I believe he wants us to use both in our worship and serving to him. – Robert

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      • One definition of the “soul” out there in Evangelical Land is that it consists of the Mind, the Will, and the Emotions. You hit on two out of three in your short post. (even the third was touched on by the first three words). I guess that the crux of the matter is what we do with that third element of our souls; the Will. When that is turned on through intentional submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we can allow God’s Spirit through our spirit to rule our souls ultimately bringing Glory to the One who saved us.We can enjoy the emotional aspects of our Walk as we pursue the intellectual ones.

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  2. Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things (desperately wicked)
    and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    Ro 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.

    The definition of apologetics is: reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.

    Faith is a gift of God. Eph 2:8 It is not something that you can force upon someone or explain to the point of understanding. The Gospel is the message that removes the veil that keeps us depraved and enemies of God. Isaiah 1:18 says “Come, let us reason together”, but this is between God and man to put everything to rest and to accept God’s Grace as He forgives us by the Blood of Christ, the atonement made by Jesus. This is not a verse that claims that man can achieve the knowledge of God by intelligence or human knowledge. Salvation is divine and is of the Lord.

    1Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” But this also does not pertain to apologetics as it is defined for this Scripture is for the Christian as we face dangers and persecution in order not to fear and to keep a good conscience.

    So, as we answer a world controlled by the prince of the power of the air (Satan), our command is to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all nations by the Gospel (Good News). The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, testifies of Jesus, and illuminates Scripture. God causes the growth.

    Lastly, Tit 3:9 says, “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” Therefore, let us bow to the Father of lights and be obedient to the tasks He has given us and have faith that those He means to save will in fact be saved.

    Jer 17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

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