Are you prepared to answer your child’s toughest questions about the Christian faith? J. Warner Wallace points out that as our children grow older, their level of curiosity and desire for answers increase, especially as it relates to their belief system.
“There is a level of development for young kids, for example, who all they can really handle is the whats, just to help them navigate what’s going on.”
“At some point, usually around junior high about 12-13 years of age, kids start to move into another stage of development in which they really are looking for another step in their answering, they want more than just the what, they want the whys and the hows.”
As parents, we need to be prepared to offer evidence that supports what we believe. J. Warner says we’ve been able to answer the what questions, but could do a better job answering the why and the how questions for our children.
“We have to have answers. When it comes to students, I know this anecdotally and from the polls that we see in the surveys, kids actually do still want an answer for the questions they have. It turns out that kids want to know, ‘is that true?’
If we do not provide our children with evidence for Christianity, they will have trouble defending it when confronted with other worldviews and beliefs.
“When they get to a university, they are more than happy to give them answers in that regard and offer those answers as though they were true.”
“When we pull students aside in college and they asked them to tell us why they started to walk away from the church, the largest percentage will say something akin to they were convinced by the science, by their professors, or other avenues of reasoning that Christianity was not really true and that the other naturalistic worldviews that were being offered on the campus were in fact true.”
J. Warner reminds us that we can look to the Apostle Paul’s example on how to build a case for our beliefs.
“Paul knew his scripture, clearly, and with some groups he would stay in the scripture to make a case for what he believed.”
Paul also learned how to understand the logic and thinking patterns of his audience. We can apply this approach when teaching our children the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.
“When he was on Mars Hill, he doesn’t mention the Old Testament at all. He’s able to navigate with a community that wasn’t familiar with the Old Testament, and was able to navigate with the artists, thinkers and philosophers that they were familiar with.”
“We have to be able to do both and that’s where I think we can help our students.”
J. Warner Wallace and his wife Susie have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, and Court TV. He is the author of several books including Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids: Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective and God’s Crime Scene.Cold-case Christianity