True to my nature, I have been geeking out a bit over some books written by J. Warner Wallace, a retired homicide detective who has applied his investigative approach to Christianity. When he started this pursuit, he was an atheist. Now he is a Christian, totally in with Jesus. Long story short, he has an intriguing approach to apologetics that is sure to engage your mind and the minds of your children. He has written both adult and children’s resources to help teach us all how to become case makers for Christ. Building a case for faith will help your children know why they believe in Jesus.
WHY are you a Christian?
Wallace challenges his readers is to answer the question, WHY are you a Christian? Try to answer that. Is your answer based on subjective experiences and feelings or is your answer based on objective truth? When your faith or your child’s faith is challenged in our world by the critics and skeptics, our answers must be firmly rooted in truth NOT feeling. And that’s where J. Warner Wallace leads, down a pathway to discover those truths for ourselves. Brilliant! Let’s start building a case for faith!
Our Kids Need More
These days it’s not enough for our children to answer the question, “Why are you a Christian,” with answers that range from “I grew up in church” (family training) to “I had an experience with God” (feeling based). These things are good, but they really won’t stand up to the critics and skeptics that challenge these subjective answers. Our kids need objective answers to that question. Our kids need more. So what if you grew up in a Christian home? That was just your environment. Your childhood training doesn’t make your claims of Christianity true! And again, so what if you had an experience that transformed your life? That is ‘true for you,’ but again this doesn’t make Christianity true. You see, our children need to be equipped to give answers to these challenges that are thoughtful and based in evidence.
Experience Needs Grounding
For a long time we have shared our faith from the perspective of our experience. I’m certainly guilty of that. Maybe that worked then, but it is not working now. Maybe that’s why so many of our children are leaving the church once they are no longer under our roof. Challenges to their faith are coming from school, universities, social media and culture in general. These forces are saying that Christians are hypocrites and judgmental. We need to be able to answer these challenges in ways that are gentle and respectful, but also make others think. So many of the claims in culture today are based purely on the experiential or individual feelings. Christianity doesn’t fit into the “That’s True for You” bucket because Christianity is TRUE!
Because Christianity is TRUE!
Christianity is true. Does that statement rattle you a bit? I mean, would you be willing to make that statement to someone who asked you why you are a believer in Jesus Christ? You may be willing to make that statement, but would you be able to back it up if they then asked you to prove your point? That’s the issue here. We need to move the basis of our faith from subjective thinking to objective thinking. Now, I’m not saying that faith is purely objective. We call it faith because there are elements that we won’t ever entirely understand. There will be lingering questions. But if you stop long enough to think through this issue, you will realize that the claims of Christianity are solidly backed by an abundance of credible evidence. I would suggest that we have just been lazy in our approach. And that needs to change. We need to invest the time and energy into building a case for faith.
Take Time To Examine The Evidence
It is a worthwhile endeavor to take the time to examine the evidence we have regarding Jesus. The effort you make will establish strong faith roots that will keep you grounded in times of cultural shift. And to be sure, if you are serious about equipping your children with strong faith roots, this is the place to start. Read through the gospel of John with your children. Have pen and paper in hand as you sift through all of the evidence. Some of this evidence will include:
- Eye-witnesses, people who actually knew and interacted with Jesus.
- Miracles and signs that speak to Jesus’ authority over natural processes and our world.
- Old Testament prophecies fulfilled.
- Claims that Jesus made about himself.
All of these are pieces of evidence that will come together building a strong case for faith. And you’ll both come out of the experience knowing WHY you believe and being able to articulate that to others. You’ll have a faith built on evidence.
As you do this with your children, you may also want to read Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace. Wallace has written several books, and I’ll be reviewing those in the coming weeks. Forensic Faith is the place to start your journey if you are already a believer. In this book, he helps those of us who are believers understand the importance of stabilizing our faith with objective facts. And that’s how our children are going to need to think in order to withstand the cultural shifts they are facing today.
I encourage you to think through WHY you believe. Begin building a case for faith using the evidence of the Bible and other sources. You will be able to answer your child’s questions as their own faith is challenged. It would even be a good idea to go through Forensic Faith for Kids with your child and help them build their own case for faith.
Be sure to check out the companion materials online for the children’s version. You’ll want to take advantage of these free resources to help them in their investigation, click the Academy button below to access the free files. Your children will graduate the Cadet Academy with a faith built on evidence, along with thinking skills that will serve them well in life.
And here are links to the adult and childrens versions.
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