My daughter Kelli and husband Greg have a vision for educating their five boys in the ways of the Lord.
This includes giving them plenty of “why’s” to believe in Jesus.
So Kelli recruited me to give the first lesson, which I delivered recently to the two oldest — Isaiah (11) and Joshua (9). Both are NBA fans.
Here’s what I said:
Hey boys, can you guess the most points Steph Curry ever scored in a NBA game? (62)
Michael Jordan? (69)
Kobe Bryant? (81)
What’s the most points ever scored in a NBA game by any player in history? 100 by Wilt Chamberlain!
In 1962 the seven footer scored 100 points in a lightly attended game between the Philadelphia Warriors (Wilt’s team) and the NY Knicks. It wasn’t televised, though there is a voice recording.
How do we know Chamberlain actually accomplished that extraordinary feat? After all, we weren’t there.
We know because reporters wrote accounts of the game. Based on their testimony, and the witness of players and fans, we have very good reason — but not proof — to believe Wilt hit the century mark on March 2, 1962 at the Hershey Sports Arena in PA.
Regarding Jesus, how do we know he lived, taught, died on a cross, and rose from the dead? After all, we weren’t there.
Answer: We have four credible accounts of his life — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, each written from a different perspective. And we have 23 other books in the New Testament that focus on Jesus more indirectly.
We even have some nonChristian sources that were not friendly toward Jesus. They also report that he was a real man in history.
Jesus was revealed to a whole community. He didn’t come in secret.
Thus we have very good reason (but not proof) to believe in his extraordinary life, teaching, death and resurrection.
Ours is not a blind faith, but is based in history.
OK, that was it. Seven minutes. Zay and Josh interacted with the material along the way.
Next two lessons:
Creation: Given modern science, is the creation story in the Bible believable?
Salvation and hell: What happens to those who’ve never heard the gospel message? What is their fate?
It seems to me the church must provide its young people (and others) the “why’s” of the faith, and not just the whats (doctrine and life lessons).
And we must learn how to deliver apologetic messages to our kids in ways they can understand. That’s my goal in this series with Zay and Josh, whom I love so much.
May they grow into men of God.
Resources: Two books by reputable authors that look interesting to me are Lee Strobel’s The Case For Christ for Kids, and Hillary Morgan Ferrer’s (general ed.) Mama Bear Apologetics. I haven’t read either book but would love to hear from anyone who has.