Sean Mcdowell and J. Warner Wallace have teamed up to bring us a practical guide for equipping the next generation with a biblical worldview in their soon to be released book So The Next Generation will Know: Preparing Young Christians for a Challenging World. (May 1, 2019)
Many books on apologetics and worldviews claim to be a guide in sharing the biblical truth with the next generation, but McDowell and Wallace deliver on that promise: “We’ve written many books that make the case for God and Christianity. Those books describe what is true and why we should believe it. This book is different. We wrote it for a very practical reason: to show you how to teach the truth of Christianity to the next generation.”
In showing how to teach the truth McDowell and Wallace have four target readers in mind: parents, youth workers, Christian educators, and people who love young people. Their intentionality is evident throughout the book. Suggestions are provided for each group not only in the text of chapter of the book, but with useful sidebars designated for each target group. These suggestions range from a list of questions parents can ask their kids to polling students for the Christian educator. The training and preparation McDowell and Wallace provide go beyond theoretical and moves quickly and evidently to the practical.
For example, in a chapter helping the next generation develop a passion for the truth, one of the challenges is helping young Christians who might be spiritually dispassionate avoid apathy. They suggest the “Two Whys for Every What” approach. They explain that “as pastors, parents, and educators, we’ve all explained what is true to our young people. What we believe about God? What are the claims of Christianity? What does the Bible teach about important moral issues? . . . simple propositional truths about the nature of God or the claims of Christianity may or may not ignite a fire in our young people.” They suggest that for every “what” you offer young people you follow up with two “whys.” The first why is “why is the claim you’re making true?” Young people (contrary to popular opinion) want to know why we believe what we believe. “If we want them to get excited we need to help them see that the Christian worldview is reasonable and evidentially true.” The second why is “why any of this should matter to them.” After describing “what is true and and why it’s supported by the evidence, take the time to explain why they should care in the first place.” How does this truth impact their lives, what difference does it make in the everyday living? How does this change the way they view themselves? How does it protect or guide them?
Some of the highlights from the other chapters include the challenge of Generation Z (the generation born between 2000 and 2015), balancing truth and relationship, understanding Generation Z, building a biblical worldview, training versus entertaining, providing life changing experiences, and engaging contemporary culture. Each chapter. along with the sidebars for each focus group, includes activities, teaching methods, and constructive tips. It is backed with the latest research to guide the reader to effectively reach the next generation.
This book is not a book on apologetics, you will not learn the different reasons for God’s existence or the evidence for the resurrection, but they include in the appendix a list of resources for gaining that information. And not just a list of other books, but videos, curriculum, conferences, websites, trip resources, sample surveys, and trip itineraries, in the areas of apologetics, theology, and spiritual development.
McDowell and Wallace are keenly equipped to write this book. Both have years of experience with training not only young people but other youth workers, parents, and apologists. Sean McDowell is an associate professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University as well as a part time high school teacher who regularly blogs at seanmcdowell.org. J. Warner Wallace, a cold-case homicide detective, is a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University with years experience as a youth worker. Between them they have authored, coauthored, and edited dozens of books on apologetics, including:: Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Is God Just a Human Invention?, The Fate of the Apostles (Sean McDowell) and Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, Forensic Faith (J. Warner Wallace).
If you pre-order the book and send a copy or screenshot of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org you will receive further resources including 25 youth training articles, 15 MP3 audio podcasts addressing issues from the book, a previously unreleased youth training video, and a PowerPoint presentation about the unique characteristics of Gen Z. Details for this offer can be found out:
This is a fine book that should be a helpful resource in training those who are equipping the next generation so they will know the truth.