My wife and I have been going through the Focus on the Family Truth Project with our four children.  It’s heady material but extremely well done.  Even as it educates, it raises vital issues of philosophy and theology, too often ignored by evangelicals.

Let’s be honest.  As Christians, we prefer easy answers. The problem is that the questions of life, the really important questions, don’t lend themselves to easy answers.  Sure, we can say ‘because the Bible says so,’ or ‘it’s what Jesus wants.’  But that sort of answer does not prepare our children.  And it leaves them wandering aimlessly into ambush by the world and by academics, media figures and cultural icons who on the whole consider Christianity an antiquated faith of blathering idiots, if not a hateful faith of fundamentalists.  While neither of those are true, it is imperative that we not assume our children understand the truth.

So here is my advice to my fellow Christian parents:  If you want your children to be life-long believers, to follow a faith that is both glorious and difficult, heart-changing and mysterious, simple and often confusing, you have to let them ask hard questions without judgment.  And you owe it to them to give honest, well-researched answers instead of Sunday School platitudes.

You need to read to them and with them.  You MUST pray for wisdom and insight.  You need to explore apologetics along with science, history along with evangelism.  You need to read the Word of God and read the words of God’s saints.  Not just the latest offerings at Lifeway Christian Store, or the most recommended book from the biggest church.  Read some Augustine, and some Aquinus, some Polycarp and some Luther, some St. Francis and some Wilberforce, some Jonathon Edwards and some G.K.Chesterton, along with C.S.Lewis and George MacDonald.  My list is woefully inadequate.  But I’m trying to say this:  your children need you to understand the reasonable, rational, historical and eternal nature of their Faith.  And they need you to listen as they ask about right, wrong, good, bad, sin, evil, warfare, sex, sexuality, drugs and every other thing that crosses their paths.  And you can’t answer all of those things by simply reading the Sunday School material and hoping for the best.

Let’s reclaim knowledge and wisdom.  Let’s make our sons and daughters not only evangelists but thinkers, philosophers, theologians, thinkers!  If we do, they’ll turn the world upside down for God.

Or, since it’s already upside down, perhaps they’ll turn it right-side up.

Edwin

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