Apr 01

Creation Apologetics and Homeschool Convention Report

Creation and other religions

Would you like your young students to know how to defend Christianity with some of the simplest yet most powerful evidential responses? Here are a couple examples from a March Sunday School class with my fifth graders.

We had a full class of 18 students. Several were new so when I began the apologetics lesson I explained that apologetics was “defending Christianity”. This is necessary because there are many criticisms, questions, doubts and even attacks from nonbelievers.

Creation. One student, Sam, raised his hand and said he thinks he may have experienced a kind of attack earlier that week. He explained that he was playing a video game with a friend and asked him if he was a Christian? (isn’t that an awesome, simple way to begin to share the gospel?) His friend said no and began laughing and mocking Christians saying it is silly to believe in an imaginary being in the sky. He said his parents don’t believe and taught him it was foolish.

Sam responded, “Really? Well what do you think created our entire universe then? Do you think it was some kind of energy or force from nature? But nature or energy did not yet exist so it had to be a supernatural cause.” His friend looked dumbfounded then asked if they could play a different game. Isn’t that awesome? Brilliant yet simple. Sure, no salvation event occurred but apologetics is about putting a pebble in their shoe that may grow into discomfort as they struggle to deal with the logical alternative. Perhaps this will lead to the Holy Spirit’s influence one day. Sam is only 11 and not afraid to discuss Christianity.

Other religions. Then I began to open the apologetics lesson about Islam. I began by asking, “Could other religions be true?” Immediately another student, Gracie, raised her hand and said, “No, not if Christianity is true because Islam teaches the opposite. The law of opposites says that if one thing is true and another teaches the opposite, it must be false. We know Christianity is true from all the evidence, so any religion that teaches the opposite must be false.” There you have it. Pluralism defeated in less than a minute. All roads do not lead to heaven. All religions cannot be true. Her simple and powerful understanding of the law of opposites (Law of Noncontradiction) enabled her to confidently and boldly know how to respond.

There is no reason why you cannot achieve the same in your homeschool group, or Sunday school class, or even in your home with your family devotion time. But you need the lesson materials to teach a simple and straightforward approach. Find some samples by clicking on the other tab “Apologetics for Tweens” and download some free samples.

Great Homeschool Convention

In March I travelled to Greenville to make two presentations to homeschool teachers about “Apologetics for Tweens”. Some 120 people attended my two sessions. 22 of them immediately purchased on of my Tweens curriculum to use for their homeschool teaching. In one case, a young couple purchased a curriculum just for their own use. They were not familiar with apologetics. Friends, there is a tremendous need and growing recognition that we need to help our youth know how to realize that Christianity is true and be able to defend it. Are you ready to participate?

 Recent parent testimonials

‘Thank you so much. This is awesome. Gracie is so excited about being in the 5th grade class. These are great lessons to teach our kids.’ (current 5th grade student)

“Just thought I’d let you know that out of seemingly nowhere today Nick said, “I just LOVED 5th grade Sunday school, I couldn’t wait each week for Sunday to come around!” Thank you so much for your investment in our kids!!’ (about a former 5th grade student from 5 years ago)

“A few weeks ago we made Ryan go to Sunday School. He is very smart but had complained for a couple years everything was boring and he did not want to go anymore. But we made him go a couple weeks ago. Afterwards, he came up to us and said he wants to start going again because it was so interesting. Last week he told us he was really excited about going to the next class.” (grandparents of Ryan, who now is attending Sunday School again and excited about it).

“Your class is so important and the teaching is desperately needed. I have one more child coming up who is in first grade now. Please tell me you will keep teaching for another 4 years.” (current 5th grade assistant teacher who has a 5th grader in our class now)

Oct 23

Apologetics for Tweens – October Blog

National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCAA)

Last week was the annual National Christian Conference on Apologetics (NCCA). I have attended 8 years in a row and delivered a speaking engagement for the third year in a row.

My topic was of course, Apologetics for Tweens. The key message from my discussion is that we need to teach apologetics to a much younger audience than ever before, because:

  • Doubts about Christianity form by middle school
  • By end of high school, 84% of Christian youth have doubts
  • After age 12, only 7-10% of youth accept Christ
  • Atheism for Generation Z is double the average for the US population
  • Only 4% of Gen Z have a biblical worldview

It seems my audience agreed with me completely. In a max capacity room of 55 people, we filled it and turned away another half dozen people who could not fit in. The interest in apologetics for a younger group is intense. But virtually everyone I discussed apologetics with told me that there is no material for the elementary and middle school age that can be delivered in a curriculum format for parents, homeschool teachers, Christian school teachers and Sunday School teachers.

However, that is specifically why I produced Apologetics for Tweens. Even a colleague of mine, Natasha Crain, who is known for her apologetics approach to youth, came by my booth and took pictures of my material and stated she will refer people to me who are looking for curriculum. She acknowledged that she is not a competitor and does not have such content for that purpose.

Nearly half my audience purchased one or more curriculum years. As a result, just since late January, we now have about 180 locations implemented with the curriculum. Several purchased the entire set of 5th to 8th grade curriculum. Truly God is working closely for teachers and parents for this age group who have concerns about how to address doubts and to help them learn how we can know our faith is reasonable and also reach out to share this knowledge with others.

First Baptist Church Orders Apologetics for Tweens for Children’s Ministry Teachers

Barely back from the conference, our Children’s Minister informed me that a donor from our church elected to purchase 10 curriculums of 6th and 7th grade for all the elementary teachers in our church. It is humbling to see the support from our church. But the support comes directly from the ongoing feedback of students in my 5th grade classes and their parents and other teachers.

Updates From Our 5th Grade Sunday School Class

  1. Recently, one of our students explained an exciting witnessing story. Sam, the son of my assistant teacher in our class, was playing video games with a friend. He happened to ask the friend if he was a Christian. The friend said no and Sam asked, “Why not?” The friend said because science does not support the Bible and God. But Sam said, “But how do you explain creation then because whatever caused it was outside nature?” His friend did not have an answer. Sam was tempted to say his friend was doomed without God but refrained from going that far. He expects to have more conversations in the future. This is a direct result of our teaching about how to dialogue with others using apologetics. It was an awesome beginning to a hopeful ongoing dialogue. All this and we are only a couple months into our new class teaching these lessons. Does anyone still think it is not important to teach at this age?
  1. In last week’s class, we conducted our popular contest called the Bible Bowl. It divides our class into teams and they compete by answering tough questions about the Bible, Christianity, other religions and apologetics teachings.

One of the questions was addressed again to Sam. The question was what would you say to someone who told you they believe there is no God. Without flinching, Sam said, “First I would ask them why they believe that. Then I would ask them how they explain the cause of the universe and of DNA.” I just grinned with a measure of gratification that the teachings are being absorbed in this way. How many adults could have fared better given such a question or real life situation?

  1. Finally, after the Bible Bowl finished we were cleaning up and preparing to dismiss class. Another student, Daniel, came up to me privately. He typically has quite a sober demeanor during class but I can tell he is listening intently. In this case, he was smiling profusely and said, “Thank you for being my teacher in this class. I love the class so much and it is really fun and we learn a lot of interesting things. I really appreciate you.” Well, that almost sent me to tears.

Wouldn’t you like to receive these results and feedback from your Sunday School class, or homeschool group, or Christian School class? You can also achieve this by starting to teach apologetics to your students. What better tool is available to do so than the Apologetics for Tweens curriculum? Please go to www.resurgensconsulting.com and select the age group that fits your situation best. Contact me at tjgconsult@aol.com for any questions. Blessings,

Tom Griffin

Sep 08

New developments in apologetics

Apologetics for Tweens
Recently, a Christian organization ordered 25 sets each of my 5th thru 8th grade scripture and apologetics curriculum. This brings the total of books sold to 150 this year. How exciting to see the interest in apologetics and the need to help prepare our youth to understand and defend their faith. Check out my Apologetics for Tweens blog  for monthly updates.

NCCA Speaking Engagement
The National Conference on Christian Apologetics will hold its annual conference again in Charlotte, NC on Oct. 12-13. This year’s theme is “The God Who Is”. It features the usual stellar prominent speakers such as Ravi Zacharias and Josh McDowell and many others, including myself! I’m in a breakout session and will lead a presentation on “Apologetics for Tweens”. I do expect considerable attendance as the trend toward teaching apologetics to youth is accelerating and gaining traction. If you plan to attend the conference or are in the area, you will find it highly engaging, interesting, and beneficial.

First Baptist 5th Grade Sunday School
My new class has begun and we are consistently achieving about 18 students each Sunday. They have all expressed tremendous interest in apologetics and the support from their parents is humbling. Almost all students expressed real interest in science issues and the early part of the year is typically where many of the science challenges arise, such as:

  • Age of the Earth. Very devisive but interesting debate. Does the Bible tell us? Is science right or wrong? Why is it important?
  • Evolution. Is it true? Did humans descend from a common ancestor of apes? What is evolution?
  • Noah, the Ark, and the Flood. Was it really global? How did they get all the animals on the ark?

My students have demonstrated real intelligent awareness of these issues and have serious and relevant questions about each topic. Do you know how to address these issues for your family and friends? Lack of answers to tough questions about science and Christianity has proven to create doubt in Christian youth and lead them away from the church. Isn’t it better if we provide them Christian answers to these issues instead of letting the secular world handle it?

Ratio Christi College Prep (RCCP)
Our relaunch is tentatively scheduled by end of September. This program offers two levels: 1 an apologetics network of resources, articles, training, education and certifications; 2 assigned academically trained apologist to mentor and strategize with your church in the implementation of youth and congregation apologetics programs ongoing. A long list of services are provided, mentored and monitored by an RCCP academically trained apologist. First, we train one or two adult mentor volunteers in the church. Then they implement our program, monitored through the RCCP apologist who serves like an Account Manager on an ongoing basis. The program is also designed to involve parents and other congregation and lasts for a year, renewable annually by the church. The church reciprocates by providing a donation to RCCP. Let us know if you have any referral churches who may be interested.

Ministry Teaching Update
My new assignment as Associate Professor of Apologetics with Immanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, a small seminary just outside of town, begins tomorrow night. The opportunity to work with current and future pastors who have influence in their own communities and churches is very exciting and appealing. It will allow me to impact minds and hearts for Christ in a broader way than teaching youth exclusively. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement.

Also, please listen to the 20 minute radio broadcast recently from Faith Radio with my colleague Anna Kitko. The discussion is about the importance of preparing our youth for the secular attacks on college campuses.
Are your kids prepared for the secular college world? – http://myfaithradio.com/program_podcast/anna-kitko-current-college-climate/

Aug 02

Why Do You Believe? – 7 Apologetics Audio Sessions

Welcome again to Apologetics for Tweens! This month I decided to provide audio sessions from our summer apologetics training series conducted in my church, First Baptist in Peachtree City, GA. Each audio link is about an hour and was given to a group of 50 to over 100 adults, college students, high school youth and even younger youth. The interest and feedback was exceptional. There are two weeks that were not recorded due to technical difficulties. Those two powerpoints are attached so you at least have that. In some cases there may be brief periods of silence where questions were asked from the audience without a microphone. Please be patient. I hope you enjoy the sessions. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments at tjgconsult@aol.com . Powerpoints are also available on a per request basis.

Here are the links to the audio files:

Wk 1 – Intro to Apologetics, challenges

https://s3.amazonaws.com/fbcptcapologetics/Apologetics+Week+1.mp3

Wk 2 – Truth, Does God exist

https://s3.amazonaws.com/fbcptcapologetics/Apologetics+Week+2.mp3

Wk 3 – Science issues. audio not available. See powerpoint.

Apologetics discussion session 3 (6-11-18)

Wk 4 – Bible reliability. audio not available. See powerpoint.

Apologetics discussion session 4 (6-18-18)

Wk 5 – Jesus, atheism, agnosticism

https://s3.amazonaws.com/fbcptcapologetics/20180708.mp3

Wk 6 –Problem of evil, other religions

https://s3.amazonaws.com/fbcptcapologetics/20180715.mp3

Wk 7 – Predestination, OSAS, those who never hear

https://s3.amazonaws.com/fbcptcapologetics/Apologetics+20180722.mp3

Tom Griffin

Jun 09

Faith Radio interviews Thomas Griffin on raising kids to keep their faith

Listen Here to Faith Radio’s interview of Thomas Griffin on apologetics and youth.

May 05

How young is too young for apologetics?

By Tom Griffin

Many people are surprised to find out that I taught apologetics to fifth graders (10-11 yr olds) for 13 years. The typical reaction is, “Isn’t that too young?” Indeed, I would have thought so myself and had no intention to teach apologetics when I began all those years ago. But the questions that came up from my very first students in class convinced me they wanted deeper knowledge and understanding and were a little bored with the Bible stories they loved but knew by heart for years. Over the years, many parents confirmed this with me and stated they have to drag their kids to Sunday School because they are bored.

In my first class when I taught creation, questions arose such as “Did dinosaurs live during the time of Adam and Eve?” and “Why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin if He knew they would?” and “How did they get all the animals on the ark?” and so on and so on. My first class was mainly invested in answering questions. Fast forward 13 years and my current class of students will tell you by and large they love apologetics and feel it should be taught to everyone in our church of all ages. As a result, I also created a 9 week lesson series for 3rdand 4thgraders. Now we are down to 7 and 8 year olds.

The need for apologetics has gone downstream as happens so frequently in any marketing communication effort. The market expands and you must follow it or it will cut off the path to your original target audience. Based on my own experience and marketing background, what this means is that if we want adults and their families to stay committed to the church and understand their faith is based on reason and evidence, then we need to teach at the youngest age feasible to ensure those youngsters grow up in the faith and stay in the faith. Otherwise, if we lose a generation from college age, it can have disastrous negative effects on church membership and even jeopardize the viability of the church. In fact, is that not what all the studies show? Except for evangelical Christian individuals and churches, mainstream Christianity is declining along with mainstream church membership.

The statistic probably most people know about still exists; by age 22, 70% of Christian youth exit the church. That tells me we do not teach them the essentials to know their faith is true but also that we do not teach them at a young enough age. The apologetics organization I work with since 2010, Ratio Christi, began to create student apologetics discussion clubs on college campuses around the country 8 years ago, mentored by an academically trained apologist from our field staff resources, specifically to stem the negative trend for Christian youth mentioned earlier. We now have 180 such clubs. Then we realized it was too late to help many students by the time they were in college. So we started Ratio Christi College prep, a program for high school youth at churches. We knew they needed to be prepared for the attacks and challenges they would encounter in college. But we also now know from research studies that 84% of high school students have doubts about Christianity. In order to address that you have to overcome the doubts and that can be difficult. Further, 40% have doubts already by middle school. And after age 12, only 7-10% accept Christ. So the common sense answer is to address the problem before the doubts occur when they are merely expressed as questions.

That brings us to 10-14 year olds and 5ththru 8thgrade. This entire situation is confirmed by my own experience. By fifth grade, students are bored with the same old Bible studies and thirsting for something more. Oh sure, you can spice up the Bible stories and go deeper into each and that is important and something I still do each week. But then I follow by teaching an apologetics lesson.

This summer I am scheduled to teach a 7 week series on apologetics to anyone in our church that is interested. The intent was originally to reach the 22 adult Sunday School groups. So far about 50 people have signed up. But there is also serious interest from many of the high schoolers, some middle schoolers, and three students from my fifth grade class who requested permission from their parents to attend. My current and prior students still love apologetics. That is exciting!

Let me give you another example of something that occurred just last Sunday. It further demonstrates the need to teach about difficult concepts at a younger age. I was in my normal fifth grade class teaching about the Trinity when one of the other teachers frantically came in and requested an urgent situation in the fourth grade class that needed my help. That has never happened before so I did not know what to think. When I arrived at the fourth grade class (8-9 year olds), I was told that one of the girls brought up an issue she heard about in California about the banning of Bible sales. The teachers did not know anything about it and they thought I might be familiar. Indeed I was. The California state Senate is set to vote on bill AB 2943 which is designed to prohibit the advertising and sales of any materials that discourage “sexual orientation changes”. In other words, without using the words Christianity or Bible, it would make it illegal to advertise, promote or sell any materials that discourage gender changes, same-sex marriage, or homosexuality. It is placed under the California fraud law and is an obvious but veiled attempt to attack Christianity specifically. It essentially considers it hate speech to go against any of those liberal societal abnormal behaviors in an attempt to normalize them. But if you think about the consequences, it affects Bible sales and any other teaching materials and would also impact churches, Sunday school groups and Christian schools from elementary to seminary. That is a big deal!

Anyway, several things came immediately to mind while I contemplated the best way to answer the question: first, how do I address these sensitive ‘cultural’ issues to a 7-8 year old without confusing them and without permission from their parents; second, why are our teachers unaware of this pending issue; third, here is yet another example of a child who asks questions about a deep and complicated issue at a young age; fourth, I wondered at what age parents are teaching these tricky issues to their kids; finally, it made me wonder what would happen if the child asked this question of their teacher in a public school and whether it would be a biblically based answer or if not, then what?

Well, I hate unanswered questions so I explained that I did not think the bill would pass but if it did it would be challenged with a lawsuit and probably end up at the Supreme Court. I explained the court appeal process and answered a couple questions from a bright young boy about why judges are allowed to violate our freedoms and the Constitution. As far as the content of the bill, I said it was designed to ban any sales of materials that go against the traditional idea of marriage between a man and a woman and that some people think the Bible is hate speech because it has teachings about what is right and wrong that some people do not agree with. That was the best I could muster and be honest, answer the question, and still not overstep a boundary with respect to the parents’ desires about when to teach difficult questions.

What do you think? Is it not clear that parents, teachers, and even young children need to be taught from a Biblical worldview as early as possible so that they do not receive their teaching from the secular world?

Let’s all agree this is a critical issue and begin to address it now through the implementation of proven solutions directly from the classroom of youth as young as ages 10-11 or even 7-8. To be clear, my ‘cultural’ lessons are only included in the 8thgrade curriculum as optional. Parents and teachers must still decide the right age to teach those lessons but I pray they will not wait too long. Contact me for questions at tjgconsult@aol.com or call me for a more detailed discussion at 770-597-2654. Can you really afford to take the chance your children and students will be fine without any apologetics training?

Apr 05

Homeschool Apologetics Energy

By Tom Griffin

Recently I attended the Great Homeschool Southeast Convention in Greenville, South Carolina. Some 2000 homeschool teachers attended to search and review homeschool curriculum material and to listen to speaker workshops pertinent to homeschool teacher issues. It was gratifying and somewhat surprising how many stopped by my exhibitor booth to say they had checked off my apologetics curriculum for 10-14 year olds in advance to review my curriculum and planned to attend my speaker workshop. I am no major organization so it was clear they know about apologetics and the tragedy of the youth exodus and want to do something about it. Often times, they mentioned that their current curriculum packages had some small portion devoted to apologetics but either it did not cover the needed age groups or it was incomplete and insufficient to make a difference.

During my speaker workshop, about 50 people attended the Apologetics for Tweens discussion. When asked why they attended, answers varied from the need to help them defend their faith to a desire to prevent doubts about Christianity from taking root and leading to skepticism, atheism and an exit from the church. We already know that 70% of Christian youth follow this path by age 22. Often times the reason is simply doubts about Christianity due to unanswered questions or misunderstandings about the Bible and science.

In our discussion, I emphasized the need for teaching apologetics at a much younger age than previously thought. Research shows that after age 12 only 7-10% accept Christ. This is clear data that proves they need to understand why they believe in Christ before questions turn to doubt. Some 16 of the teachers purchased the Apologetics for Tweens curriculum, either for a single year, a couple years or for all 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade curriculum. It was very rewarding to see teachers literally squeal with excitement as they hugged the curriculum close to their chests and walked away. I do not exaggerate. Recently in my own church, when I announced to several homeschool teachers that our church was implementing my apologetics curriculum for our middle schoolers, they began jumping up and down and hugging each other. I kid you not. One of them brought over her 8th grade son whom I taught in 5th grade. When she told him the news, he just grinned sheepishly and swayed back and forth as though he had been told he was getting a new bike for Christmas. Yet why should I be amazed that parents and teachers care so much about the final destiny of their students and kids and want to ensure they do everything possible to prevent doubt from leading to rebellion from the faith and church?

Frequent questions had to do with whether a few lessons would be sufficient to help the students and address the doubt issues. Although this could be the case with exceptionally attentive and bright students, the best plan is for repetition, emphasis, reinforcement and testing through games, contests and competition over an entire calendar year. The goal is that by the end of the year, the confidence for the student that the evidence points to the truth of Christianity should be central and evident. Many students will also know and remember specific pieces of evidence such as eyewitness testimony for the resurrection or that God exists due to creation. However, the mere understanding that Christianity is true should be sufficient alone to help alleviate doubt. Even when they fail to recall a particular answer about an objection to Christianity, they will remember there is one and that they were taught the answer and thereby avoid the typical path of question, doubt, skepticism, and eventually atheism or the rebellion of their faith.

The curriculum reinforcement over multiple years is best just as any type of repetition in learning is best. A common question was whether each year of the curriculum builds on prior knowledge. The answer is mainly no. Since there are always new students and some students will miss some lessons, each yearly curriculum is designed to operate independent of the others. Although it is true that the 8th grade curriculum includes additional ‘cultural’ lessons about abortion, same sex marriage, gender, homosexuality and a couple deeper science-related lessons, mainly the top 10-15 key apologetics lessons are included in each curriculum year, although they are featured uniquely in each case.

Another question that came up was whether they need apologetics training themselves to teach it and what about more detailed questions that might come up from the lesson that they could not answer themselves. I assured them that the material was written at the 5th grade level for anyone to understand so there was no reason they could not be comfortable teaching it without any apologetics background themselves. As far as additional questions, my availability via email or phone is included as support for my curriculum. I will answer any and all questions that come up so there is no need to worry.

Apologetics is not just for evangelizing nonbelievers, nor is it only for adults. In fact, unless we implement consistent teaching/training at the earliest conceivable ages where questions and doubts develop, we will never stem the problem of the youth exodus in the church. Unfortunately, if serious doubt creeps in by high school graduation, it will often be too late to overturn the doubt for many of the youth at that point.

Let’s all agree this is a critical issue and begin to put a stop to it now through the implementation of proven solutions directly from the classroom of youth as young as ages 10-11. Contact me for questions at tjgconsult@aol.com or call me for a more detailed discussion at 770-597-2654. Can you really afford to take the chance your children and students will be fine without any apologetics training?

Mar 06

Smarter than a 5th grader part 2

This video  is from my class discussion on the morning of February 25. See how brilliant these kids are! This is unrehearsed and unscripted. These answers are typical of what I see each week. It is gratifying for me, and should be for the parents, to know I am not just talking and no one is listening. They get it!

This is part 2 and last week we did part 1. Some of the audio is a little difficult so I will remember to move closer next week when the children answer the questions. Please note that just because one of the students does not raise their hand to answer does not mean they do not know the answer. Some kids are a little shy, some like to think about things for a minute before they answer, and some kids just love to answer questions.

Congratulations to all the parents for excellent child-raising. I am so proud of this class. They are awesome!

Click on “View Album“, then watch the short videos from top to bottom in that order to get the best flow. Feel free to share with others.

Blessings,

Tom Griffin

Feb 26

Smarter than a 5th grader part 1

This video  is from my class discussion this morning. See how brilliant these kids are! This is unrehearsed and unscripted. These answers are typical of what I see each week. It is gratifying for me, and should be for the parents, to know I am not just talking and no one is listening. They get it!

This is part 1 and next week we will do part 2. Some of the audio is a little difficult so I will remember to move closer next week when the children answer the questions. Please note that just because one of the students does not raise their hand to answer does not mean they do not know the answer. Some kids are a little shy, some like to think about things for a minute before they answer, and some kids just love to answer questions.

Congratulations to all the parents for excellent child-raising. I am so proud of this class. They are awesome!

Click on “View Album“, then watch the short videos from top to bottom in that order to get the best flow. Feel free to share with others.

Blessings,

Tom Griffin

Feb 01

Alarms Sound for Gen Z!

By Tom Griffin. My main focus in apologetics over the last 20 years has been for our youth. When I began, it was over concerns for Christian youth and nonbelievers entering the primarily secular, liberal world of college. The statistic that drove concern was from decades of research by LifeWay and Barna that 70% of Christian youth dropped out of the church by age 22. The reasons were primarily due to intellectual doubt, unanswered questions and a belief that the Bible was not relevant in their lives. Apologetics is a solution to address this problem. Ratio Christi, www.ratiochristi.org is an international apologetics organization with 200 apologetics clubs on campuses worldwide. I have been associated with them in various roles since 2011. It has been a great blessing for me and for those on the campuses we serve: students and professors who are believers and nonbelievers. Wonderful testimonies are recorded for how God is moving in this arena.

After about five years of working with students on college campuses, we discovered that college was often too late to address doubt and concerns. It turns out that they are formed at a much earlier age. 84% of Christian youth have doubts by the time they graduate from high school. That means we have to teach them at a much younger age than previously contemplated. My own experience teaching 5th graders primarily, but also middle school, proves this out. We have to catch them before doubt creeps in. By fifth grade, the questions are there. If unanswered, the questions can become doubt. Doubts become skepticism and then faith is shaken when secular answers from intellectual professors and friends are discovered for their questions.

That brings me to today’s topic: Gen Z. Gen Z is typically defined as those born in 1999 to 2005; primarily this means 18 and younger. In a recent Barna study in cooperation with Impact360, www.impact360institute.org , another Christian apologetics organization, the following five alarming statistics arose for this age group:

  1. Gen Z identify as atheist at double the rate of the general population. This means about 13% of them. Who is teaching or not teaching them that there is no God? I’m sure the church is not teaching them this so their information comes from the internet and social media, friends and some parents. Is it not proof that we need to teach them that God exists? There is substantial evidence that points to this, including:
    • The creation of the universe requires a transcendent, all-powerful Cause
    • The creation of first life requires an intelligent Source to account for DNA
    • The amazing fine-tuning of the universe specifically to support life on earth is acknowledged even by many scientists as a good argument for theism. These are not ‘God of the gaps’ answers but rather the evidence itself points to a creator God.

 

  1. Only 4% of Gen Z have a biblical worldview. What is the church teaching if not a biblical worldview? Well, I believe the church is not teaching about worldviews at all in fact. The kids know all the details of all the Bible stories by heart. But how many can explain how we know the Bible can be trusted and is reliable? Very few. If our kids do not know the primary worldview alternatives and why Christianity is the best explanation for reality, how will they deal with it when faced with one of the alternative worldviews that may sound appealing? The answer is we MUST teach them about worldviews and how we know Christianity is true, the Bible is reliable, and Jesus is God.

 

  1. 51% of Gen Z believe happiness is the ultimate goal in life. This is a recipe for depression and explains why so many of our youth experience such. Happiness is fleeting; it is momentary and will not last. If this is the goal for life, it is one that will be elusive and cause great pain because we will all suffer just as Jesus did. There is only hope in Him. A life filled with intermittent depression because a goal cannot be achieved and maintained is a self-fulling end that leads away from happiness.

 

  1. Only 34% of Gen Z believe lying is morally wrong. This is a denial of truth as an important virtue or even as a virtue at all. It is not surprising though as other studies have shown that 70% of 16-25 year olds do not believe in absolute truth. If truth is merely opinion, then anything goes and lying is of no significance. But truth is actually undeniable. You cannot claim “there is no truth” without making a truth claim. When it comes to morality, if there is no ground for absolute morality then, again, anything goes. Without God there is no such ground. Only with God as the moral standard of goodness can we recognize evil and immorality.

 

  1. Only 25% of Gen Z believe science and the Bible are complementary. So 75% believe that the Bible and science conflict or contradict apparently. Do they conflict? No, not if God exists. Nature is God’s expression of truth in the physical world. The Bible is God’s expression of truth through His word. They do not and cannot contradict. Where there is an apparent contradiction, either science is wrong or our interpretation of scripture is wrong or some of both. All the controversy over the age of the earth, evolution, the flood and miracles is due to one or both of those issues just mentioned. In fact, the more we learn about science the more it provides evidence that point to the truth of Christianity. We have in today’s age more evidence for Christianity than at any point in the history of our world since the resurrection. It was only about 25 years ago that science confirmed the universe had a beginning. That has been a huge problem for atheists and evolutionists ever since because it proves the cause of the universe is transcendent and a beginning cuts short the trillions of years needed for evolution to theoretically and mathematically be feasible.

How many of our Christian youth know these strong pieces of evidence for Christianity? How many of our churches teach these principles? If our youth are not taught this critical information by the church, who will teach it to them?

My best answer to this critical question is homeschool teachers. You are the last line of defense against the secular world. It is up to you to take a major role and save our youth. I am sorry to put this burden on your shoulders but there is no denying you are in the best position to do so. How can you accomplish this task? Where will you get the tools and knowledge? I submit that my 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade curriculum, Apologetics for Tweens, is a great place to start. The knowledge, materials, format and implementation tactics are all there for you. And it is packaged affordably at about $75 per year or a little over $200 for the complete set. Contact me for any questions at tjgconsult@aol.com . The time to start is now because more of our Christian youth are choosing the wrong path every day.