This past summer, my ministry helped our church sponsor a student apologetics training camp. We brought in apologists, theology professors, a philosophy professor, a youth pastor and a social media specialist (my husband) to train students how to defend their belief in God. The camp was packed full of material: the arguments for and against belief, an introduction to good reasoning, ancient heresies repackaged, the nature of God, utilizing social media in a gracious ways, and much more. But the aspect of the camp that struck me the most—and does so every year—is the questions the students ask us.
Christian teens have some good questions. So I thought I’d share a few of the questions asked at our camp here:
- Could the stories of Jesus’ miracles just be an exaggeration? - What happens to people who haven’t heard of Jesus and die? - How do we know God is speaking to us and it’s not just an overactive imagination? - What resources are available to learn more about the ancient writings that support the death and resurrection? - What proof is there for a young Earth vs. the Earth being billions of years old? - How do we know that morality isn’t just the opinion of the majority of humanity? - What does “Coexist” [the bumper sticker] try to say/explain? - Why didn’t God speak to Old Testament prophets and prohibit slavery? - In Mark 10:18, Jesus asks why they’re calling him good, because only God is good. If he’s God, doesn’t that make him good too? So then why would he say that? - Could the writers of the New Testament have read the Old Testament and tweaked Jesus’ story or used phrases out of context to say he was “fulfilling prophecies”?
Though, I’m not going to delve into these questions at this point in time, I think they are worth sharing. This is just a sampling of the many that we received throughout the week. Realistically, it would take an entire learning track through several years to address all the students’ questions, especially considering the depth of some of the questions. That’s exactly why I posted these few: to demonstrate the desire of our youth for a learning track in church that is meaty.
How are our churches meeting the intellectual needs of our youth?...and of our adults? Have our churches recognized the need yet?
I realize my sample size here is extremely small being that is it from our church youth (that's a small promo for my next post on logical fallacies: the hasty generalization). Yet the more youth conferences at which I present, the more I find similar hard questions. Since we live in a country with a wealth of resources to answer those tough questions, let’s utilize those resources to train our youth (and ourselves) in the reasoning of our beliefs.