Many women shy away from apologetics because they assume that apologetics means that you will always be debating with atheists. That is simply not true. Our children need reasons for their faith just as much (if not more so) than the local atheist. And guess what? YOU are the primary missionary to your children! In the first years of their lives, your children will likely waver between the first 3 stages: Learners, Seekers, and Doubters. In this podcast, we discuss what apologetics looks like for these first three categories.

In this podcast, we addressed:

  • Panic Attacks and the anxious personality
  • Generic Differences between men and women in apologetics
  • The connection between sleep and spiritual energy
  • The need for women in apologetics to bring gentleness and relational sensitivity to the field.
  • Feminization of culture as a reaction to the abuse of illegitimate masculinity
  • “Lord of the Flies” apologetics
  • The 5 main types of people you’ll meet in apologetics
    • Learners
    • Seekers
    • Doubters
    • Hardened Doubters (apathetic and angry)
    • Firm Believers
  • Traits of Learners :
    • Blank slates
    • Open
    • Don’t have their minds made up yet
    • Actively taking inventory of all the pros and cons
    • May not be aware of the different perspectives or different beliefs out there
    • Assume that their teachers know everything
    • Very black and white thinkers (especially kids)
    • Not trying to prove you wrong or find discrepancies
    • Honest questions
    • Gracious interpretation of scripture
    • Building a foundation
    • Deals mostly with Pro-position (very little con-position)
  • Traits of Seekers:
    • Aware that different perspectives and beliefs exist
    • Trying to figure out which perspective/belief is true
    • Very open and go where evidence leads
    • Ask good, probing questions
    • Intentional
    • Honest questions with gracious interpretations of scripture
    • Testing their foundation
    • Deals mostly with pro-position and some con
    • Actively weighing the pro and con positions
  • Doubters
    • Discover grey areas where they had been taught there was only black and white
    • Individual is wrestling
    • Deals heavily with both pro and con positions
    • Con positions are starting to appear more robust than preciously thought
    • Deals with discrepancies
    • World is being rocked a bit – but this can be a good thing
    • Actively looking for discrepancies
    • Less gracious interpretations of scripture
  • Hardened Doubter – next podcast
  • Believer
    • Very gracious reading to scripture
    • May or may not have gone through a period of doubt
    • May or may not be aware of differing positions
    • Believers arrive as believers either by the gift of faith, or a journey of discovery
  • How to deal with learners, seekers, and doubters
    • Importance of humility
    • Presenting the different orthodox perspectives
    • The turn-off of “absolute certainty” for areas where there is orthodox disagreement
      • If we present ourselves as 100% sure that we are 100% correct on our doctrine, the moment our kids discover areas that we are wrong in, it lends doubt to everything we have said.
    • Doubters – have they ever doubted their doubts?
  • Role of apologetics for believers:
    • Putting them on a more solid foundation by making them “more sure and more certain” of their beliefs
    • By definition, this increases their faith. It does not diminish the role of faith
    • Gives them the confidence in their faith to where they can now go find their own learners, seekers, and doubters

Resources/People mentioned:

Vocabulary:

  • Epistemic – of or relating to knowledge or to the degree of its validation (i.e. how do we know something and how certain are we that we know it)
  • Epistemic humility – being honest about what we can know and what we can’t know and where the gray areas are. We can know what we believe about something, but that is different from knowing in the sense that it is testable.
  • Calvinism – the belief that we are chosen by God, we do not choose God. Also known as “predestination.” There are a lot of different shades of this belief. The doctrine of predestination is very evident in scripture, but can be taken to unhealthy extremes when people begin to cast doubt on the existence of free will, reject any human ability to choose God, or deny the necessity of evangelism because “we can’t change who God is going to choose.” You can see the 5 main points of Calvinism here.
  • Sovereignty – the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission
  • Fideist – (from the Latin “fides” or “faith”) is the view that religious belief depends on faith or revelation, rather than reason, intellect or natural theology. This is the “faith alone” camp who can sometimes scorn the use of evidence or reasoning.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer
Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the founder of Mama Bear Apologetics, and has been married to her husband, Dr. John D. Ferrer, for over 10 years. She is working on her second master’s degree, and yet can’t seem to figure out the simplest cooking recipes.
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