PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION to DEFEND THEIR FAITH

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PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION to DEFEND THEIR FAITH 1Very few churches and youth groups are equipping young people to defend their Faith in the midst of an increasingly hostile, anti-Christian environment at school and at university.

Failure

Mike Licona, apologetics co-ordinator at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, admits that he has failed as a parent to prepare his children to defend their Christian faith:

My failure is especially embarrassing because I'm a Christian apologist. I equip Christians with evidence so they may have a strengthened faith they can share confidently with others. Through lectures and public debates I also challenge seekers of truth to give the evidence a fair look and become a Christ follower.

 

Yet, I never equipped my own children. There were two reasons why. I'm not discounting a bit of laziness on my part, but my wife and I have always wanted the faith of our children to be their own and not ours. And we made the huge mistake of assuming their youth pastors would occasionally touch on Christian evidences. I was shocked about two years ago when I asked both of my children how often they had received teaching related to Christian apologetics during their Sunday school classes and youth group meetings. Answer: Never. Not once? Zero. Zilch. Nada.

 

This void was even more alarming when I realized that our family had been members of several churches during their lifetimes. So, it wasn't the neglect of a single youth leader. What were their leaders teaching? Admittedly, they didn't remember much. They played video games, other games, did fun things, had nice periods of worship and received Bible lessons that, for the most part, they did not recall.

 

Did their youth pastors drop the ball on preparing them adequately to withstand the attacks on their faith they would experience when they went off to college? Yes. But the buck stops with Dad. I failed and I admit I'm embarrassed because, of all people, the children of an apologist should know the evidence.

 

Let's take a moment and look at the situation in which our children find themselves. This will help us to see why it's important to equip them with both evidences and answers to the difficult questions. University campuses are growing increasingly hostile toward Evangelical students. A 2007 report by two Jewish researchers found a strong bias against Evangelical students at secular universities. More than 1,200 faculty members from 712 colleges and universities were interviewed pertaining to their feelings toward various religious followers. The results were alarming. 3% of American faculty members admitted having negative, or unfavourable feelings toward Jews while 33% admitted having them toward Muslims. But 53% admitted having negative or unfavourable feelings toward Evangelical Christians. The researchers concluded, "Conservative Christians have for some time been concerned about their children's campus environment. These data certainly legitimize their concerns."

 

But it didn't stop there. To their shock, these Jewish researches likewise discovered that a significant number of American faculty members want Muslims to play a greater role in the American political process while wanting Evangelicals to stay out of it. But why? After all, generally speaking, most Muslims are pro-life, against homosexual marriage and women's rights, at least as they are enjoyed by American women. To me, this suggests we are in much more than a cultural war between political conservatives and liberals. It goes beyond secularism and the religious. On many of our college campuses, it is a war against Evangelical Christianity.

 

I personally have had numerous students from all over North America inform me that professors, on the first day of class, said their objective was to rid Christian students of their Faith by the end of the semester. That's right. The professor openly stated in class that his or her objective was to rid Christian students of their faith within the next hundred days. Can you imagine what would happen if those same professors had instead asked how many of his or her students were Muslims ...or Jews? They would have been labelled "Islamaphobe" or "anti-Semite" and would soon have joined a number of others in the job market. But faculty members often get a pass if they're a "Christophobe."

 

Some good news is that a large number of Christian college students have a strong interest in Apologetics, which is now a necessary component for nourishing students for a healthy faith and continuous growth in a vibrant walk with Christ. Some of these students will become church planters, missionaries, pastors, youth pastors and seminary professors. However, if we neglect familiarising our college students with Apologetics now, will we find far fewer members in our churches 20 years from now? From where will our next generation of church leaders come? (Mike Licona, We Must Prepare the Next Generation to Defend the Faith, www.bpnews.net)

Renewing Minds

The Biblical Worldview Summit (4-11 January 2021, near Cape Town) teaches and equips Christians to critically analyse competing ideas and to stand strong in their Faith. The Summit educates and equips participants to know what they believe, know why they believe it, know how to defend it in argument and most importantly how to win friends, neighbours, fellow students and co-workers to Christ.

Spiritual Ammunition

Apologetics topics covered at the Biblical Worldview Summit include: Evidences for Skeptics; Why Does God Not Stop All the Suffering?; What About Hypocrites in the Church?; Evidence for Creation, plus an Evangelism Workshop and some great Apologetics films.

Day visitors are welcome at no cost, (although meals will cost). All ages are welcome.

For more information, or to request a leaflet to register, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To view the video of the BWS, click here.

 

To download a poster on the Biblical Worldview Summit (4-11 January 2021), clickhere.

 

To see the Biblical Worldview Summit Facebook page, click here.

Recommended Resources

Answering Skepticsbook and MP3 audio boxset combo specialby Dr. Peter Hammond 32 lectures on 2 audio MP3 discs and book (144 pages). R170 (excluding postage). Available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, Tel: 021-689-7478, Fax: 086-551-7490, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.

Recommended Websites

Answers in Genesis (Creation vs. Evolution): www.answersingenesis.com.

Livingstone Fellowship: www.livingstonefellowship.co.za.

Living Waters Africa: www.livingwatersafrica.co.za.

William Carey Bible Institute: www.WilliamCareyBI.com.

Dr. Peter Hammond

See also:

Universities, Polyversities, Diversities and Aversities

Universities: Hijacking our Youth?

Change the Campus – Change the World

South Africa’s Education Crisis and the Biblical Solution

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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