“There is good news and there is bad news. Which would you like to hear first?” We’ve all been asked this question about a host of issues. Personally, I often prefer to hear bad news first to get it out of the way. But I’m going to step out of character and offer the good news first.
The Good News
Here’s the good news: There is a new global generation of young people—often called Generation Z—who are both open to evidence for the Christian faith and who carry less negative baggage about Christians than older generations. In the study Gen Z conducted by the Barna Group, nearly half of teens (forty-six percent) say “I need factual evidence to support my beliefs.”
And Gen Z’ers in the UK are slightly more positive toward Christian faith and worship than older generations.
For those of us who care about reaching and equipping the next generation, this is unmistakably good news! But …
The Bad News
Here’s the bad news: As a church, we are struggling to truly equip young people with answers to the tough questions facing them daily. And we are not engaging non-believing students with both the truth and power of the gospel. As a result, many young Christians disengage from the church and many non-Christians reject Christ.
Given how much is at stake, why aren’t we tackling these tough questions head-on?
In my experience, one of the main reasons is because we don’t feel equipped. As a church, we really don’t know what we believe and why. I often role-play an atheist at camps, conferences, and churches. It’s amazing how defensive and aggressive Christian audiences can become. When the role-play is over, I often point out that this is because many people don’t know what they believe, and when I press them for answers, they get defensive.
Here’s the bottom line: If we are going to equip the next generation of young people and also engage our cul- ture with grace, confidence, and truth, we simply must have answers to the big questions people are asking: Why is there evil? Is Jesus the only way? Do science and faith conflict? Is there a meaning to life? And so on.
This is why I am thrilled about Everyday Apologetics—a wonderful resource for a number of reasons. Please allow me to highlight three.
- First, this book is accessible. You may have hesitated to pick up a book with the word “apologetics” in the title. Apologetics can be intimidating! But each author has gone to great lengths to tell stories, give understandable illustrations, and make the material accessible.
- Second, this book is practical. Everyday Apologetics isn’t filled with heady knowledge void of life application. It deals with scientific and historical issues, but it also deals with very personal issues like doubt and the meaning of life. Paul and Chris offer apologetic insights as well as practical connections to everyday matters.
- Third, the authors communicate with kindness. To try and rise above the distraction in our culture, many turn to outrage and name-calling. This approach may get clicks, but it ultimately undermines cultural civility. The contributors follow the advice of the apostle Paul: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6).
This book is a wonderful resource for effective apologetics. I hope you will keep this copy handy, read it, and then put its advice into your everyday life. The great news is that God can (and will) use you if you’re willing to be used. So go for it!
This post is adapted from Sean McDowell’s foreword for Everyday Apologetics: Answering Common Objections to the Christian Faith by Paul Chamberlain and Chris Price (Lexham Press, 2020).