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Faith: Fearless parenting

One question I commonly get asked from parents is, "How do I lead my child spiritually to know, love and follow Jesus?"

I was recently asked to review and write an endorsement for a new book by George Barna and Jimmy Myers entitled "Fearless Parenting." With their permission I am going to share a portion of it that I found to be very helpful in answering this question.

We always need to keep in mind that we can't lead our children to a deeper level of discipleship than we have achieved ourselves, so it is imperative that we, as parents, commit ourselves to study for the purpose of learning information that will help us, as Peter would say, to defend the hope that is within us.

The good news is that there is no need to invent the theological wheel all over again. There are so many books that deal with all the issues and topics that we have been discussing. Step #1 in becoming prepared is to get your hands on these books. Read what you can, and keep the rest on your bookshelf to use as reference material when and if you may need it.

Here is just a very small sampling of very useful books that will help you and your kids defend their faith:

• "The Case for Christ," by Lee Strobel. How do we know the Bible is true to begin with? How can we trust that Jesus really existed and did and said all those thing? This is an amazingly easy to understand guide to basic apologetics.

• "The Case for Faith," by Lee Strobel. This easy-to-read and understand book addresses the eight big questions that have plagued Christianity since the beginning. How can evil and suffering exists if God is all powerful and all loving? How come the God of the Old Testament seems to be much more harsh and vengeful than the God of the New Testament?

• "The Big Book of Christian Apologetics: An A to Z Guide," by Norman Geisler. The title says it all. This book addresses all aspects of defending the Christian faith.

• "The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask: (With Answers)," by Mark Mittelberg and Lee Strobel. Questions like: Why are Christians against same-sex marriage? How could a loving God send people to hell? And many more.

• "Keeping Your Kids on God's Side," by Natasha Crain. Wonderful book to introduce the idea of answering questions about Christianity to younger children.

• "Mere Christianity," by C. S. Lewis. This is a classic.

• "The Apologetics Study Bible," by Holman Bible Staff. There are more than a hundred key questions and articles that placed throughout this Bible that address important aspects of apologetics.

• "Prove It: Defend the Christian Faith," by Stephen Cutchins. This helpful guide hits home with the Millennial generation.

• "How Now Shall We Live," by Charles Colson. This excellent book gives the most reasoned argument for holding to a Christian worldview you will ever read. Great stuff!

• "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," by Josh McDowell. As a college student, McDowell had deep doubts about Christianity and set out to prove it was a fraudulent faith. His life was forever changed by the excessive evidence he discovered proving that what the Bible says is true and real. This book compellingly shares that evidence in regard to numerous common objections to Christianity.

See? You don't have to have a seminary degree. You just have to go shopping. Make sure you have these books, familiarize yourself with them, and try to walk through this material with your kids.

The Scriptural command 2,000 years ago was to "be ready" to give a defense of the hope that is within us. That command has never changed.

(From "Fearless Parenting," George Barna & Jimmy Myers, Baker Publishing Group, page 36.)