Teaching Our Children to Give An Account and Defend Their Beliefs

When we took a family vacation to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, we brought home a copy of Inside the Nye/Ham Debate. This is a book that breaks down the questions examined and the answers given during creationist Ken Ham’s debate with evolutionist Bill Nye (the Science Guy). We watched parts of the live debate February 4, 2014. And it was interesting to notice how each of the men presented their case and how each responded to questions. There were definitely different styles of presenting and answering as well as their different perspectives.

The fact is that no minds were likely to be changed by the debate. Neither man “won.” Personal beliefs about the earth’s beginnings really are based upon your worldview. And both sides of the debate can find plenty of evidence to back up their position because they are each starting from a different point of view.

Since the day we watched the debate, we’ve had opportunity to talk about what it means to give an account of what you believe. In I Peter 3:15, Peter tells believers that they should sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” 

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This is something I always want to teach my children. The science at the Christian school I attended growing up often seemed to just say, “God created everything. Anyone who says anything else is wrong. We believe it because the Bible says it. Don’t question it.” I want more than that for my kids. I want them to know why they believe in a young earth. I want them to be able to discuss with people who don’t agree with their position.

So, how do we teach our kids to do that? I think there are three important things. 

First, know God’s Word. Read it. Study it. Memorize it.

It doesn’t do much good to say that you believe the Bible if you don’t know what the Bible say. If you think that your point of view is Biblical, you need to know what the Bible says.

Secondly, use good resources to teach yourself and your children. 

To learn about about a young earth point of view, we’ve used materials from Answers in Genesis and from Apologia. Both of these give proof after proof that supports a young earth position. Apologia has some excellent worldview materials outside of their science curriculum as well. Home School Adventure Co. is another curricula publisher that does an excellent job of helping you and your children to develop a Christian worldview and to be able to verbalize what you believe and why.

Thirdly, discuss, discuss, discuss. 

One of the best things about homeschooling is that we have so many great opportunities to discuss. Really discuss. That means letting your kids have their own opinion and listening to the opinion. Sometimes discussions come up at the most inconvenient time- an important question asked as you get ready to walk out the door for church. Don’t be afraid to drop what you’re doing and discuss. I know sometimes you really can’t. But sometimes you just need to change your priorities.

I never want to stop learning, and I always want to keep my kids learning. That way we’re always ready to offer an account of what we believe.

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