That’s definitely been my experience as well. (I think homeschooling has diversified quite a bit since the 80s and 90s, which is good, but those attitudes are still there in places). I think if we’re honest, a lot of parents are/were very anxious about their kids leaving the faith, which is understandable. They would see other families whose kids walked away and ask “what do I have to do to prevent this from happening??” and the answer would be “more apologetics!” I understand the fear, but I’m also wary of making a fear-based educational decision. Trying to find that balance can be very difficult, which is why I appreciate all the good ideas here!
I think that in apologetics one is making a rational and understandable case for God that helps us make the best sense of our world. Apologetics should never be weaponized, of course. And if it’s used to spew false information, people will never, ever forget.
I find most apologetic arguments to be unconvincing. I think that one can have an easier time arguing for ‘religion’, rather than ‘God’, per say, and that ultimately is what caused me to change my mind, the realisation that Western Society needs Christianity as a moral foundation in order to truly flourish.
So do you view Christianity in a primarily pragmatic light?
I don’t think it’s invalid to come to Christ for philosophical reasons. I know plenty of young folks who make the faith plunge because they want to join a handsome guy or pretty girl in the pool! So why not philosophy?
That said, I hope that Reggie is part of a Christian community in which he can share his gifts, and be blessed by the gifts of others. That’s critical in learning to follow Christ.
Yes, and I certainly would not intend to belittle anyone’s means of coming to faith – apologies if it came across that way.
I LOVE Lesslie Newbigin. Seriously obsessed with the guy. He is amazing. Proper Confidence is one of my all-time favorite books.
I also found Timothy Keller’s “The Reason for God” to be a good basic (though not shallow or dumbed-down by any means) apologetic overview. I enjoy Alister Macgrath and Yancey as well. I grew up in a nominally Christian household (we went to church two or thrre sundays a month but were thoroughly secular the rest of the week) and came to Christ out of New Age beliefs as an adult, so I’m always on the lookout for good apologetics books in that strain but haven’t had much luck yet (though I think much of Newbigin’s work is useful there). I read a book called “The Universe Next Door” a year or so ago and it was decent.
I think you are correct, there is a place for intelligent apologetics for those who did not grow up in a Christian household. Ultimately, I feel Jesus found me on a heart rather than a head level, but that is how he made me and I’m sure some need a rigorous intellectual argument.