Chapter 7- Mama Bear Apologetics

Submitted by First Brethren on Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:59am

Greetings parents! In this week’s email, we are looking at Chapter 7 in “Mama Bear Apologetics”, which looks at Skepticism. Now by “skepticism”, we aren’t referring to a healthy skepticism that seeks evidence to back up a person’s claims. This kind of skepticism is appropriate and in fact, Biblical! There’s a misconception about faith in the world and often among Christians too. This misconception says that “faith” means believing something without evidence in favor of it, or even despite evidence that disproves a claim. This is the definition of faith employed by men like Karl Marx, who called religion “an opiate for the masses”. It pictures faith as an escape from the real world, a framework of belief that is wholly divorced from logic and evidence. My friends, that is a false definition of faith!

So what is faith? A biblical faith looks at the evidence and determines that there is enough of it in favor of the claims of Scripture to accept it as authoritative, EVEN IF there are questions left unanswered. Biblical faith determines God to be true, faithful, sovereign without demanding all of the answers.

The implications for this are huge for us and our children.  If we teach them the false definition of faith, we teach them that questions aren’t allowed; to question is to show a lack of faith. And the result of this usually is that when kids find nagging questions and don’t get the answers they want, they leave the faith. But if we teach our kids that questions are okay, to seek answers the right way, and that you can still be a good Christian without understanding all of it, our kids might find that their faith grows stronger in their search for knowledge.

We see an example of this in the book of Acts. In Acts 17, Paul and Silas go to the Greek town of Berea. They went into the Jewish synagogue and preached about Jesus. But before the Bereans put their faith in Christ, verse 11 says that they “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Rather than blindly taking Paul’s word, they looked through the Old Testament, reading prophecies, examining Paul’s claims. And after finding enough evidence to see Paul’s claims were true, they put their faith in Jesus. Now does Luke (the author of Acts) criticize the Bereans for this? Far from it! In fact, he remarks that “the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians”, specifically because of their healthy skepticism. Questions, when paired with a genuine desire for the truth leads to deeper faith- IF you give God a chance to prove Himself.

And this is where the world often goes wrong in the brand of skepticism our kids see among many “intellectuals” today. For many professional skeptics, the argument over faith is framed in such a way that no amount of evidence in support of Christianity will ever be enough. The authors of “Mama Bear Apologetics” give some examples of this in Chapter 7. Some claim that there aren’t enough early copies of the New Testament to show that it is authentic. This is despite over 24,000 manuscripts being discovered, some dating to within a generation of the original writing. If that’s not enough evidence, then 240,000 likely wouldn’t be as well, because no other ancient work has anywhere near as much evidence to support it, and the professional skeptics don’t question the authenticity of those works! In fact, to be consistent, we would have to throw out everything we “know” about ancient history, for no ancient historical event has anywhere near as much evidence in support of it than the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I could go on, but the important takeaway for us this week is this. We must teach our children that questions are okay, that you can still have faith without knowing all of the answers, and that if kids take their honest questions to God, are open to the evidence, He is big enough to answer enough of our questions that we are able to take the rest by faith.

Next week we will look at Chapter 8, which looks at whether we can really ever know the truth. Have a blessed week!

Pastor Jeff