Maybe I was just searching the wrong way, but I was surprised this morning to see how few web pages discuss parents’ role in teaching apologetics. There’s one outstanding page at CARM. I’m sure there are others, but the general theme of the search results I received was that parents should make sure their churches are teaching apologetics.
The fact is, you can teach apologetics at home. Yes, you!
I am sure that one reason parents have assigned their apologetics teaching responsibility to the church, rather than sharing it with the church, is because they think it’s beyond their capability. Isn’t this a specialty area? Isn’t it asking a lot to expect this of parents?
I have three answers. One is that the better your church teaches reasons for confidence, the less you have to do; although see below for an important additional thought on that. The second is that either way, if your child leaves home someday without reasons for belief, he or she won’t have a reason to believe. Most children in that condition leave the faith. I don’t think you want that to happen to your child!
My third answer is that you can do it.
Yes, You Really Can Teach Apologetics at Home
It need not be complicated.
Here’s what you can do. Buy an entry-level apologetics book, like any of Lee Strobel’s books, or possibly Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace. Read it where your kids can see you reading it. At dinnertime or in the car, mention something interesting you’ve learned (I guarantee there will be plenty of that). You don’t need to teach, it in any formal sense, just bring it up in conversation. But this you must do: ask your child(ren), “what do you think about that?”
Could something that simple make a difference? Absolutely!
Suppose your church isn’t teaching anything about apologetics: you’d be surprised what an impact this could have on your child(ren). It might be the first time they heard there were actual reasons for confidence in Christianity!
What then if your church is teaching apologetics? You’d be surprised again to know how deeply it could encourage your child(ren) to know that you have reasons for your own faith. If they see your Christianity as something you “believe” or do just because you’ve always done it, there’s not much to keep them from breaking the tradition. But if they see you believing because there are reasons to believe, then they’ll have reasons, too.
(Leave the book lying around, and they might just start reading it themselves!)
The CARM page I linked to above has some more suggested resources for parents. Sometime before long, I’m planning to review these books for younger children by William Lane Craig; for now I’ll just mention them as additional resources.