'Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side’ – an apologetics group for parents
"If we don't have the answers our kids need, athiests will be happy to fill the gaps."
Should I start with the word apologetics? It doesn’t mean we’re sorry for what we believe! It comes from the Greek word, apologia which literally means ‘to make a defence for’. It’s a legal term. The apologist’s favourite scripture is 1 Peter 3:15-16 – “In your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience", which lays out the Biblical basis for why and how we should be able to coherently explain what we believe to anyone who asks, including our own children.
Sadly, for many parents this is far more difficult that it should be. What do we say when our kids (or adult friends at church) ask questions like:
“Why would God command the genocide of the Canaanites?"
“Is Christianity responsible for millions of deaths in history?”
“How do we know we can trust the Bible’s authors?”
“Does the Bible support slavery?”
“What are the major pieces of evidence for evolution?”
When I came across the book ‘Keeping Your Kids on God's Side - 40 conversations to help them build a lasting faith’, by Natasha Crain (NatashaCrain.com, MBA from UCLA and Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, homeschool mum) I was seriously excited. Imagine how I felt when I discovered that with the help of other apologetics enthusiasts, Natasha’s book is being used by Grassroots Apologetics for Parents (GAP) Chapters around the world to help parents learn how to approach these questions with their children.
We are one of those GAP Chapters, and we will be starting our Chapter in September this year. We will host a weekly Zoom meeting on a Wednesday evening, to go through 3 or 4 tricky questions each week. We want to build a support network of parents, teachers and grandparents who want to be ready to make a defence for their faith in a living, loving and personal God even when tough questions cause us to stop and think. After all, it’s not faith or reason; in fact, if you join our Chapter, we will spend a couple of weeks exploring why Christians don’t ‘leave their brain at the door’, are able to examine truth objectively in light of their faith, and why Biblical faith is not blind faith.
The course is free and the only requirement will be that you purchase your own copy of this book and are prepared to read ahead for each week’s discussion ready to contribute ideas, questions and share relevant experiences. The course will run through the Autumn term (12 weeks) and then again through the Spring term, using Natasha’s second book ‘Talking with your kids about Jesus’. I believe you will find this two-term commitment thoroughly enriching, equipping and fun.
We will have a kick off event on Wednesday 14th July at 7:45pm where you can come and find out more about the Autumn course, sample some questions we'll face together, ask your own questions about how it'll work, and get to meet me as your host. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your place on this course.