Last month, I poured out my heart for teaching kids to recognize the lies the world is going to throw at them. It is so clear from Scripture that we are not to be naïve about the wiles of the Devil and the worldviews of those who have rejected God. I’m sure there are many more excellent sources for developing our discernment muscles, but these are the ones I’ve run into to help me in this mission.
Let me know your own favorites in the comments!
Logic is one of the keys to being able to understand truth from falsehood, right from wrong. If everything I believe is based on squishy and fickle emotions and the whims of culture, I’m not going to be able to build a Biblical, faithful, and grounded worldview. I’ll be no better than the man in Jesus’ parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount—a disaster waiting for the next storm to wipe out my beliefs and principles.
My family has really enjoyed the work of the Bluedorns, particularly The Fallacy Detective. The book is aimed squarely at homeschool kids; so it’s fun, smart, and based on Christian worldview. If you use free online resources to study logic you are likely to run into examples using Christians and especially Young Earth Creationists as prime examples of “fallacies” to watch out for. In contrast, this book is refreshing and a delight to teach.
For older students, the top of the heap is the work of Dr. Jason Lisle. He has a series of talks available to watch and his book Ultimate Proof of Creation is one to read and reread (because it takes a lot of practice to build mental muscles that strong!). I particularly appreciate the real-life examples he gives in UPoC. If you can figure out what the logical (and spiritual) problem is before reading his notes, you are ready to be an active apologist. The rest of us will catch on at least somewhat by seeing how he cuts to the quick of the heart issue at stake.
Dr. Lisle also has a free blog at the Biblical Science Institute and a paid forum there for those who would like personal access to him.
Things the World Throws at Christians
Besides heady stuff like that, all of us face questions such as ‘Why is there evil if God is good?’ and ‘Don’t all religions lead to God?’
I’ve found Natasha Crain a delightful resource for helping me as a mom think through how to present these major ideas to my kids long before college age. Her newest book Talking with Your Kids about God is such a practical resource I’ve been using it as part of our homeschool day. I read a manageable-sized chapter to myself, highlight what I want to cover, then work through the questions with my kids based on their level.
The best thing about Natasha’s work is her ability to use stories to illustrate her points. I hadn’t fully understood the problem with the God of the Gaps accusation (that we only believe in God because we don’t know the natural explanation for things yet) until I read her account of her two daughters.
Natasha is carefully neutral about her stance on how and when God created, but everything I’ve read from her has been spot-on and a delightful inspiration to read.
She also has a blog called Christian Mom Thoughts full of articles to get you going as a Mom Apologist today.
This year we were assigned to read a short book entitled But Don’t All Religions Lead to God? by Michael Green. It was so nice to have the various worldviews spelled out simply (the book isn’t very long) and fairly, while clearly presenting Jesus as far superior to any system. It doesn’t deal with cults or variations within religions; but for having a basic clue about what your Buddhist roommate at college believes, it is a great introduction.
If we accurately present the realities of other religions well, it only heightens the wonder and gratitude for what we have in Jesus. And, being fair to the good intentions and elements of truth in other viewpoints helps us be understanding to those outside of Christ and protects our children from being swayed from truth by the attractive distortions of human religions.
Our Own Culture
For this one I’m not going to recommend a particular book. Many discipleship and devotional books cover the kinds of lies and twisted focuses we run into just by living in America and the West. The biggest thing I look for is exposing the underlying assumptions behind the choices people make:
- Why shouldn’t I follow my heart? (Thrown at girls constantly)
- Are you yourself really the answer to your problem? (Watched a boys’ movie lately?)
- What is life really all about?
- Are moral choices equal to biological differences? (Ethnicity equates “alternate lifestyles”)
And so on . . . these are things I want my kids aware of and being intentional about before they hit puberty, let alone leave home. Their lives are their own, but I can follow Joshua’s example and actively call them to consciously choose whom they will serve. After all, one of the key principles Jesus teaches us is we all serve a master—and “me, myself, and I” is not one of the choices!
Cheri Fields is a 2nd generation homeschooler involved in learning and teaching at home since 1982. She currently teaches her seven kids in Michigan and has found ways to include them in the online ministry God has called her to, particularly as cohosts for their family’s podcast. You can find her at https://creationscience4kids.com. She is a member of the International Association of Creation and a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature.