Tom Gilson

Talking With Your Children About Tough Questions

Talking With Your Children About Tough Questions: Why You Have To Do It, and How You Really Can: A two-hour seminar for parents.

Research reveals a tragic truth: 50 to 80 percent of young people growing up in good churches walk away from the faith when they leave home. How many children do you have? How about your friends? Which one-half to three-quarters of them would you want to see leaving the faith? None of them, really!

Young people consistently give one chief reason for not staying with the faith: they’re not convinced it’s true. And they really get stuck on tough questions, like doesn’t science prove Christianity is false? Do Christians really hate gays? And aren’t Christians intolerant and arrogant?

You can talk to your children about the faith. You can even talk with them about the tough questions. You can even do it if you don’t know the answers—in fact, that might set you up for the biggest “win” of all with them.We could count on our youth pastors helping them with these hard questions. But don’t we parents have responsibility for our children above all? And then there’s another bit of research to bear in mind: the way a child sees his or her parents live out their faith is another top contributor to how consistently he or she sticks with it.

 

Talking To Your Children About Tough Questions is designed as a two-hour seminar. The first portion covers why it’s important to have those conversations, and how to experience that big “win” when you don’t know what to say about a hard question.

The optional second part addresses one to two tough questions in detail, demonstrating how to face these kinds of questions directly and giving understandable answers.

Which tough question(s)? One or two of the following, based on the needs of the group as determined by the seminar host.

  1. Homosexuality and Christianity. Based on my forthcoming Kregel Publications book, Hey Mom and Dad, Is it True That Christians Hate Gays?, this topic addresses the charge that Christianity is intolerant and hateful toward homosexuals. Parents will learn how to explain the truth of God’s moral standards and how to live out those truths, with Christlike grace, at school and among friends.
  2. Does Faith Make Sense In An Age of Science? “Science and faith are in competition,” some say, and, “the more science succeeds, the more it shows that faith is a failure.” I grew up with that belief: I really thought science would someday shove religion right off the map. Through extensive study, though, tested by much debate with atheistic scientists, I’ve learned it’s the other way around: science grew up because of Christianity, and the two are still close friends, not enemies. If your children are learning the false view of reality I grew up with, this seminar will help you understand and explain that it’s really okay to believe in Christ in an age of science. (See also here.)
  3. The Moral Argument Against Truth. It used to be that the deepest debates were about whether Christianity is true. Now they’re about whether Christianity is good. Your children know that in our culture, Christians are seen as arrogant, exclusivist, intolerant, judgmental, and worse. Your children might even be asking, “how can I admit to being a Christian—or even decide to be a Christian—when everything around me tells me how bad Christians are?” This seminar helps you explain the goodness of Christianity, in the midst of multiple messages to the contrary, in a way you can pass it on to your children. (See also here.)
  4. Un-Creating Atheists. Peter Boghossian, professor of philosophy at Portland State University, has just released his Manual for Creating Atheists, and from a rhetorical and persuasive standpoint, it’s brilliant. It’s in at least it’s second printing already, as thousands of atheists are looking for ways to “create atheists.” And here’s the thing: Christians who don’t know the reasons for their faith are vulnerable. This seminar, based on the Internet’s most comprehensive response to Boghossian and the first published book in answer to his strategies, explains where Boghossian’s brilliance ends and his multiple errors begin, and why his methods for creating atheists can only work among the uninformed.

It’s a chance for you to discover for yourself that even the hardest questions have answers you can take home with you.

Please contact me for more information on any seminar or retreat.

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Building Understanding, Building Faith

Tom Gilson, Senior Editor, The Stream.

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  • Tom Gilson July 9, 2020 at 7:24 am on Jesus Won’t Let Us Use Him for Our PoliticsYou’re not trying to be rude? Really? If you want to rewind, then begin by reading what I wrote, not by asking me to rewrite it. I've already answered that question. Repeatedly. You're honestly not paying attention. I haven't answered with numbers like you want me to, but I have
  • Shane Fletcher July 9, 2020 at 2:26 am on Jesus Won’t Let Us Use Him for Our PoliticsI'm not trying to be rude, or poke you with a stick. I'm honestly asking for clarification. I'll attempt to rewind. You: "If you know of any in recent history, though, you’re welcome to list them. I’ll be wondering whether it’s a long enough list to conclude it’s a widespread,
  • Tom Gilson July 8, 2020 at 8:01 am on Jesus Won’t Let Us Use Him for Our PoliticsDoes that mean my wondering is meaningless? Good grief, no. Wondering is wondering. How much background info does it require to wonder? Why on earth would you even ask such a question? And even if it were a halfway sensible kind of question, why would you ask without offering the

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