Christians are commanded by God's Word to be knowledgeable about Christianity, know why we believe Christianity is true, and be prepared to share the truth with others. For example, 1 Peter 3:15 states: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” This involves the study and application to our lives of subjects, such as God's Word, apologetics, theology, and so forth. As we are becoming equipped in these areas, it is vitally important that we train our children in them. One of the world’s foremost Christian apologists, Dr. William Lane Craig, has said the following about this:
“When I travel around the country speaking in various churches, I meet parents all the time who come up to me after the service and say something like this: “Oh, if only you had been here two or three years ago! Our son (or our daughter) had questions about the faith which no one could answer. And now he (or she) is far from the Lord.” It just breaks my heart to meet parents like this. The fact is that our Christian high school students and college students are intellectually assaulted in secular high school and university by overwhelming relativism conjoined with every manner of non-Christian philosophy. We dare not send these kids out to battle armed with rubber swords and plastic armor. We need to prepare our kids for war…I’m convinced we’ve got to train our children in apologetics from the youthful age up. Begin simple, get more profound as they grow. It’s not enough anymore to just read Bible stories to our kids. They need doctrine, and they need apologetics. I have to tell you the truth: I find it very difficult to understand how parents today can risk having children without having had some training in Christian apologetics. I think it’s that important!”
An excellent interview on this very important subject can be found at the below link.
Christianity is in a crisis right now with few Christians possessing a biblical worldview, and therefore unable to give reasons for the hope that is in them and pass their faith to their children. Below are just a couple of very alarming articles about this, but a quick search of the Internet yields many more.
Only 6% of Americans have a "biblical worldview," according to research from notable evangelical pollster George Barna released as part of a new endeavor with the Christian conservative advocacy organization Family Research Council.
We must equip ourselves in a biblical worldview and apologetics, and train our children in the same from a very early age. In this regard, I am going to cover some of the resources I used with my children when they were very young and that I’ve come across through my research on this subject matter. I am only going to list a few for each key category below due to space constraints. However, you can find a much longer list of resources under Books and Curriculums on the Apologetics Hub website.
A picture Bible is great to use with very young children. Below are some good options. It is also important to have them memorize Bible verses. Just pick some each week and work with them on memorization. It is amazing how well young children can memorize Bible verses.
The Picture Bible by Iva Hoth (This is the Bible mentioned by Dr. William Lane Craig in the above video that he used with his kids when they were very young.)
Below are two picture Bibles that we used with our children when they were very young.
It is important to not only read the Bible to our children but also begin to develop a biblical worldview in them at as early an age as possible. Below are some curriculums for doing this with very young children.
Catechizing children is a great way to start teaching them Christian doctrine. Here is a video of Dr. Tim Keller speaking on “Why We Should Catechize Our Children.” You can help them with memorizing catechisms each week just like with the Bible verses.
My family has used the below catechisms but there are many other options if you would like a different one. Just search online and you will find many options.
Below are some great books to start teaching theology to young children.
Below are some great books to start teaching apologetics to young children.
And then as young children get a little older, depending on the child, but around 5 years of age, the books and curriculums by Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, J. Warner Wallace, and William Lane Craig that can be found here are great options.
While teaching young children the Bible, catechisms, theology, and apologetics, it’s important to also help them develop spiritual disciplines. These include disciplines such as prayer, worship, loving others, etc. A resource that can help with this is Spiritual Disciplines for Children: A Guide to a Deeper Spiritual Life for You and Your Children by Vernie Schorr Love.
And most importantly, it’s vital for parents to model all of these things. They must be engaged in studying the Bible, catechisms, theology, apologetics, and developing spiritual disciplines. Children often end up like those they are around the most and are role models to them.
And it's also vital to be consistent in engaging in these things. This must take place regularly. These things can’t be something you focus on every-once-in-a-while. They are just like anything else in which one wants to grow deeper in. This may mean no longer taking part in things that are less important due to time constraints.
I pray that these resources will bless you and your children as you seek to follow our Lord! Please let me know if you have any questions about anything. I would love to hear about any resources you’ve used with your children that have been helpful. And please share this with anyone you think may benefit from it.