John’s emphasis in 1 John 4:1-6 (last Sunday’s preaching text) is on spiritual discernment of false teaching. However, because we live in the age of the published New Testament and benefit from other New Testament writings (eg. 2 Timothy 3:14-17), I also mentioned making sure our children are prepared to face false teachers (antichrists) in the world. A “late” text question came in asking, “If we wanted to do apologetics with our teens at home, where would we start?”
First, let me say, THANK YOU for asking!
Second, apologetics is no substitute for devotion. John’s argument is abide (be so in love with Jesus) that you’ll instinctively know falsehood and be repulsed by it (I can testify that this really happens, and I’m not the least bit pentecostal!)
Finally, I’ll give you some resources. Generally the older the publication date, the harder your teen will have to work for understanding (something I think is a benefit but something that has to be balanced against potential loss of interest).
- C.S. Lewis wrote eight books that all help with both common and esoteric arguments against God: Mere Christianity; The Screwtape Letters; The Great Divorce; The Problem of Pain; Miracles; A Grief Observed; Abolition of Man; and, The Four Loves (adapted from talks he gave in the 1940s).
- Paul Little’s Know Why You Believe was my go-to as a young Bible teacher. I think he wrote in the 1960s. Intervarsity is now selling his work in a four-book set.
- Norm Geisler wrote a number of books on apologetics; my favorite is I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
- Lee Strobel wrote The Case for Christ and followed it up with a whole series of books, all really good and well researched. Lee was a journalist turned pastor and wrote very clearly. I highly recommend this series for your plainly spoken students.
- For those who prefer video, you might look to Creation.com. I have a video, for instance, by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati entitled, “Leaving your brains at the church door? The power of logic in defending your faith.”
- Or https://answersingenesis.org/ where you could get Ken Ham’s Foundations series.
This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope it gets you started. If nothing jumps out at you, look up Lee’s books. They’re mass marketed, so they’ve been repackaged for all ages; they have study guides and I’ve even heard of some video projects. Keep at it and keep talking about Jesus when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.