Last week we briefly summarized Apologetics for a New Generation, but we wanted to emphasize some of the key aspects of application that the authors cover. While this book covered a broad variety of topics, it was all geared toward reaching young people for Christ. To that end, there were plenty of suggestions on how to apply that toward teaching apologetics to students.
Perhaps the most relevant chapter to teaching was by Alex McFarland. He offers some practical ways in which the church can minister to its students. He contends that first, church leadership needs to have the vision to use apologetics and overcome any resistance to that vision by communicating the need, biblical mandate and benefits of apologetics. Next, youth leaders need to present apologetics material to students that is practical and ties into whatever is happening in culture. Get buy-in by sending people to apologetics training, including them as volunteers and evaluating the effectiveness of the ministry programs.
The church is just one of the places that children should be receiving apologetic training. Even more important is that they are receiving it at home via quality and quantity time with parents who are able to mentor and inculcate eternally significant lessons in their children. Parents – under the leadership of the father – must move beyond just verbally transmitting the Christian worldview, they must also model the behavior, providing living proof that their beliefs make a real difference in their lives.
Working together, the church and the home can properly equip youth in sound doctrine, biblical morals and strong apologetics. These should also be environments where students feel the freedom to express doubts and discuss tough questions without fear of ridicule or pithy responses. When doubts are addressed with real answers in a loving way, it creates the opportunity for greater faith within the student.
With this foundation, youth should be encouraged to develop a burden for reaching the lost for Christ by becoming ambassadors to the culture. This can be done by creating opportunities to use their skills in a real life context. Have them practice apologetics in the context of discussions with Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses and people of other worldviews. This will highlight the areas that need improvement but also help students gain confidence in their abilities. Practical skills, sound doctrine and a heart for the lost will go a long way toward ensuring that the next generation is adequately prepared to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.
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Alex McFarland, “Making Apologetics Come Alive in Youth Ministry,” in Apologetics for a New Generation, ed. Sean McDowell (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009), 153-157.
 Chris Sherrod, “Home Field Advantage,” in Apologetics for a New Generation, ed. Sean McDowell (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009), 163, 165.
 Ibid., 162 – 164.
 Ibid., 169.
 John Mark Reynolds, “Christianity and Culture: Defending our Fathers and Mothers,” in Apologetics for a New Generation, ed. Sean McDowell (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009), 77.
 Brett Kunkle, “Truth Never Gets Old,” in Apologetics for a New Generation, ed. Sean McDowell (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2009), 53.