Christian Apologist Josh McDowell says Parents Should Answer Kids’ Questions About Faith with More Questions

Christian apologist Josh McDowell (left) and his son, Sean McDowell (right), at the Southern Evangelical Seminary's 21st Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 11, 2014. (Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)
Christian apologist Josh McDowell (left) and his son, Sean McDowell (right), at the Southern Evangelical Seminary’s 21st Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 11, 2014. (Photo: The Christian Post/Napp Nazworth)

For Christian parents to pass on their faith to their children, they should not answer their children’s questions but respond with more questions to help their kids think through the issues themselves rather than rely upon their parents, famed Christian apologist Josh McDowell and his son, Sean McDowell, explained recently at the Southern Evangelical Seminary’s 21st Annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In raising his four children, Josh McDowell explained that he tried to never answer their questions but to respond to them with another question because he wanted them to develop their own convictions rather than simply become Christians because their parents are Christian.

“I needed to teach my kids to think,” he said, “to think logically, to come to their conclusions. Because if there is always dad’s answer, then they couldn’t develop convictions.”

Josh McDowell has authored or co-authored 120 books, including More Than a Carpenter, which has been translated into over 85 languages and has sold over 15 million copies. Sean McDowell is an assistant professor in the apologetics program at Biola University.

Sean McDowell gives the same advice to parents. He recalled one parent who approached him after a public speaking engagement and told him that her daughter asked her, “does God love Osama Bin Laden?” The parent wanted to know how she should answer.

“Oh, that’s easy,” he told her, “you say, ‘what do you think?'”

“A question is always better than an answer,” Sean McDowell explained. “Why? Jesus asked a ton of questions when he knew the answer, right? Because he wanted to elicit faith and it builds a relationship and gives you insight into what somebody is thinking.”

When a parent asks more questions, instead of answering their child’s questions, Josh McDowell added, it opens a dialogue with the child. And by the end of the dialogue “it was their answer, not daddy’s answer” and “they had more convictions about it.”

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SOURCE: NAPP NAZWORTH 
CHRISTIAN POST

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