I was listening to a lecture by Dinesh D’Souza this morning and in it he was talking about the blessing of Christian Apologetics. He said that after speaking at a church a father came up to him and said, “I don’t know why you’re doing all this. I have faith because I have faith, who needs all of this?” Dinesh replied, “Good for you, if you have faith. But what if your son or daughter comes up to you and says, ‘You know what Dad, how do you know that Jesus even existed? I’ve been taking a lot of religion classes in college and a lot of religions are based on myth (like Greek religions). Are we really basing everything on the testimony of four guys who didn’t have last names who might have seen each other’s work? How do we know they didn’t make up the whole thing?'”
What would you say to your kids? These aren’t abstract or marginal issues of our Christian faith… these are questions that cut right to the heart of the Gospel. I’m not saying, “Parents, you need to check in to a seminary and start reading some heavy-duty apologetics books to teach to your kids.” But I am encouraging you to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that’s within you (1 Pet. 3:15).
Very simply, I want to urge everyone to love God with all their mind (as well as with all your heart and soul). I believe that many Christians today are pretty lazy when it comes to loving God with their mind.
Simply put, if dad and mom are Christians and take their kids to church every Sunday, but they don’t set the example in reading Scripture and really thinking about what the Bible says and asking hard questions (“How does the Trinity make sense?” “How can Jesus be fully God and fully human at the same time?” “Where is Heaven?”), when their son/daughter asks these questions to mom or dad they will be unprepared.
We agree that we want our kids to ask hard questions about Scripture and faith… so long as they ask the pastor! As a youth pastor I love talking about these difficult questions, so I’m not complaining – but I do want to encourage parents to take the primary role in discipling their children.
I admire people who have the gift of faith (simply believe God because he “said so”), and I don’t want it to seem that I’m putting those blessed people down. I want to encourage those who have an easy time believing God’s Word to occasionally pretend that they have a difficult time believing so that when they have opportunity to speak for Christ they have something to say other than quoting Scripture. I also want to encourage those like myself who have the problem of “asking too many questions” to remember that we are not the ultimate judges who determine truth.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)