As our culture continues to move further away from biblical truth and towards personalized reality, Christian parents need to educate themselves on how to confront cultural lies. Then they need to pass on this information to their children, instructing them on how to develop discernment and demolish arguments from false worldviews.
In my previous post, I listed a few resources that can help parents train their children in a biblical worldview. Some of those resources also provide arguments against unbiblical ideas. In this post, I will introduce you to two more books that will help you in confronting cultural lies.
Here’s one book I’ve already reviewed, How to Keep Your Kids on God’s Side by Natasha Crain. As I said in my review, this book focuses on knowing why you believe what you believe as a Christian. It serves as an excellent go-to resource when you kids bring up questions about the faith.
Two of its sections, Conversations About Truth and Worldviews and Conversations About Science briefly address how to handle views that oppose the faith.
Mama Bear Apologetics
Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies, on the other hand, concentrates on how to train children to discern truth from falsehood and how to confront ideas they meet in our culture.
The authors divided the book into two parts. Part 1 explains why moms need apologetics; what it means to be a “Mama Bear”; how to gain discernment by applying the ROAR method; and “Linguistic Theft.”
The ROAR Method
This book’s central message is for moms to learn to ROAR like a Mama Bear. The authors state that you can’t just tell your kids that particular ideas are good or bad. They need to why they are good or bad. The black-and-white method of discernment will eventually get your kids in trouble. “The all safe/dangerous method teaches kids that lies are easy to spot. The chew-and-spit method teaches them that most lies are wrapped in attractive packages” (53).
“The best Mama Bears teach their kids how to spot danger on their own and avoid it” (53-54 emphasis in the original). To do this, Mama Bear Apologetics developed the ROAR method.
“The ROAR method is intended to identify a message and analyze its ideas with grace and truth. Doing this requires identifying the good intentions, separating them from the bad ideas, synthesizing a healthier approach, and strategically praying through the battle of ideas” (54).
Step 1: Recognize the Message: In this step, you ask questions about the message such as, what it values or devalues. By determining the worldview that lies behind the message, you can better understand it and its goals.
Step 2: Offer Discernment:This requires three skills “(1) seeing things accurately, (2) correctly identifying the good, and (3) correctly identifying the bad” (56). The authors warn against lecturing but to be conversational with your kids when discussing discernment. They also encourage readers to establish trust by looking at the good intentions of others who hold contrary ideas. “We must maintain love for the person while we demolish the idea” (58).
Step 3: Argue for a Healthier Approach:“We need to propose an alternative worldview, one that retains all the good elements that we’ve affirmed while replacing the lies with biblical wisdom” (58).
Step 4: Reinforce Through Discussion, Discipleship, and Prayer:We need to go beyond talking about the truth and live the truth. We need to see the world through a biblical lens and live accordingly and disciple our children to do the same.
Before applying ROAR to the various worldviews in Part 2, the authors explain in chapter 4, “Linguistic Theft,” how our culture has redefined words to frame the argument. Being aware of how others use words help you understand what others are really saying and how to address these definitions in your discussions with grace.
They close this chapter by explaining that Matthew 5:9 says, “blessed are the peacemakers,” not the “peacekeepers.”
“A peacekeeper will not rock the boat, and the peace is a shallow one based on silence in the face of destructive evil. A peacemaker is someone who creates peace by getting everyone on the same page. We cannot do this without making a few waves, or without countering bad logic with good. We don’t have to be jerks about it, but it is wise to address these issues as they come up rather than shirk and hide.”(76, emphasis in the original)
Confronting Worldly Philosophies
In Part 2, the authors demonstrate how to apply the ROAR method. Each chapter discusses one worldview and follows the same structure: the definition of the worldview and its history; using ROAR to discuss the ideology; a prayer, and study group questions.
The worldviews covered are self-helpism, naturalism, skepticism, postmodernism, moral relativism, emotionalism, pluralism, new spirituality, Marxism, feminism, and progressive Christianity.
The book closes with words of encouragement from the authors, a reading resource list, and endnotes.
I found reading through the ROAR method step-by-step for each of these ideologies beneficial and enlightening. Using easy-to-understand language, the authors skillfully break down the ideas and expose the lies that they promote. Readers with no background in apologetics will be able to follow the discussion. At the same time, those like me who have read some apologetics will also find this book worth reading.
The book targets moms of small and elementary-aged children, but those with older children, or no children at all, will also gain a better understanding of the ideas that drive our culture by reading this book.
I hope this blog series, “How to Help Your Kids Confront Cultural Lies,” will aid many Christian parents in training their children in biblical truth and helping them navigate our post-truth culture.
I’ve only touched on a few of a large number of available apologetic resources. I pray that these posts will serve as a starting point for many on the journey of thinking biblical and taking captive all thoughts in Christ.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.Colossians 2:8