One of the most helpful things that this book did for me was give me some simple definitions of things that I have (ashamedly) been fuzzy on. Words such as postmodern, a "worldview", what does an athiest actually believe (or not), etc. Words that in the context of a conversation I could nod and "um-hmm" and get the gist of where the person was going, but now I have a little more meat to sink my teeth into in regard to some of these terms.
I now feel like (from the first chapter) I have a better understand of why there is so much intolerance to the Christian lifestyle and worldview. People nowadays are brought up under teachings that highlight individuality and uniqueness. Because of this, the concept of one overarching Creator and Lord is not diverse enough to meet everyone's needs so it's refuted. Sadly, thought I'm not saying it's right, it makes sense to me.
I was also struck by the chapter on youth and apologetics. There were so many good things that I underlined in this chapter. A few of them:
- passively refusing to prepare them [youth] to make wise choices = actively arranging for them to sin
- faith and commitment cannot be more than vaguely real when you are unable to have a simple conversation about them.
- reach teens by helping them develop conversation skills (p47) I wish I had had more training in this as a teen!
- mentor teens diligent in Biblical worldview studies but also full of joy in their relationship with others and full of wonder at the world around them. Something I ponder in terms of social media and how that affects our relationships with others. Can someone really see your joy or wonder through a facebook status or tweet vs. a face-to-face conversation, a phone call, or even a person email or note in the mail? Speaking to myself here... : )
- the single most important social influence on spiritual lives of teens = PARENTS. Especially fathers. (p56
- A quote from George Washington: "The future of this nation depends on the Christian training of our youth." (p58)
And so on.
I barely scratched the surface on the chapters on science and faith and may at some point go back and read more there, but for now, I'm encouraged. Books like these are a good reminder to me that it's okay to have questions about my faith and it's okay to ask them. What's not okay is not looking for the answers or doing to the soul searching needed to find them. When that happens I fail myself and the children I am training by giving less than my best.
Thanks, Sky, for suggesting this book for the Reading to Know bookclub. While I didn't finish, I still came away with much to think about! And, I'm looking forward to next month's book, Running Away to Home: Our Family's Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters. I went to Croatia in 1998 on a mission trip and I'm feeling inspired to dig out a few pictures and scan them in ... taken in my pre-digital days!
For more on the Reading the Know book club visit Carrie's blog at Reading to Know.