65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer

65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer

UPDATE! If you’d like answers to the following questions, I’ve written a book that covers 40 of them, specifically for parents! My book, Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith, was published by Harvest House and was just released in March 2016. It’s available from your local Barnes & Noble and Christian retailers, as well as online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and ChristianBook.com. Thank you!

In prior posts, I’ve talked about why parents have to care about apologetics (the reasoned defense of Christianity) and I’ve shared resources for getting started with apologetics. I realize, however, that it can seem pretty ambiguous to have a goal of “learning apologetics.” We need to know the specific questions we most need to study and discuss with our kids; the ones that non-believers most frequently challenge Christians on and the ones that most frequently turn young adults away from faith after spending 18 years in church.

That’s the purpose of this post.

I want to give you a very specific list of 65 apologetics questions every Christian parent needs to learn to answer and discuss with their kids (in age appropriate ways). Of course, any such list is subjective. I created this list based on my own study and experience with engaging in these topics, with a special emphasis on the issues challenging young adults today.

You may not think I’ve narrowed it down much by giving you 65, but there are hundreds of questions that could have been listed! In case this looks overwhelming, I’ve highlighted in red my “top 20.” Start with those if you’re new to these topics.

I encourage you to take some time and challenge yourself here. Read each question and give yourself a “point” for each one you feel you could thoroughly answer. What would your score be if you had to answer these questions today?

 

Questions About the Existence and Nature of God

1. What key arguments are there for (and against) God’s existence?

2. What are the practical implications of an atheistic worldview?

3. Why would a good God allow evil to exist?

4. Why would a good God allow suffering to exist?

5. Why would God command the death of so many people in the Bible (e.g., the Canaanites)?

6. How can a loving God send people to hell?

7. Why does God remain so “hidden?”

8. Why does the “Old Testament God” seem different than the “New Testament God?”

9. Why would God need people to worship Him (isn’t that egotistical and arrogant)?

 

Questions About Truth and Worldviews

10. What is the difference between absolute and relative truth?

11. How can it be reasonable for Christians to claim knowledge of an objective truth?

12. What is the role and danger of using “common sense” in evaluating truth claims?

13. Isn’t hell an unreasonable punishment for not believing in a specific set of truth claims?

14. How can Christians think their personal religious experiences with God are any more “true” than those of adherents to other belief systems?

15. Do all religions ultimately point to the same God? Why or why not?

16. What are key similarities and differences between the world’s major religions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism)?

17. Is Christianity a less intelligent worldview than atheism? Why or why not?

 

Questions About Jesus

18. What extra-biblical evidence is there that Jesus existed (as a historical person)?

19. What major Old Testament prophecies did Jesus fulfill?

20. Was Jesus wrong about the timing of his second coming? Why or why not?

21. What are the key passages in the Bible that show Jesus claimed to be God?

22. What does the Bible say about the exclusivity of Jesus with regard to salvation?

23. Why did Jesus have to die on the cross for our sins to be forgiven (couldn’t God have just pardoned sins without a gruesome death involved)?

24. What are the four minimal facts of the resurrection that are “so strongly attested historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar who studies the subject, even the rather skeptical ones?” 

25. What are the main theories non-believers have about the resurrection (e.g., unknown tomb, wrong tomb, disciples stole the body, authorities hid the body, etc.)?

26. Why do Christians believe a supernatural (bodily) resurrection explains the minimal facts better than all the other theories?

27. Why does it matter whether or not Jesus was resurrected (and that the resurrection wasn’t simply a metaphor)?

 

Questions About the Bible

28. Who selected what books are in the Bible?

29. How were the books of the Bible selected?

30. Why were some “books” we know about today (e.g., the Gospel of Thomas) left out of the Bible?

31. How can we know that the Bible we have today is a reliable record of the original writings?

32. What major “contradictions” exist in the Bible (and what are the explanations)?

33. Does the Bible support slavery? Why or why not? (Don’t laugh at this and the next two questions…these come up constantly in discussion with atheists.)

34. Does the Bible support rape? Why or why not?

35. Does the Bible support human sacrifice? Why or why not?

36. What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

37. How do Christians determine what parts of the Bible are prescriptive and which are descriptive?

 

Science and Christianity

Young Earth Creationism

38. What is Young Earth Creationism (YEC)?

39. What are key pieces of scriptural support for the YEC interpretation of creation in six 24-hour days?

40. How do YECs determine that the earth is 6,000-10,000 years old?

 

Evidence for an Old Earth (i.e., billions of years old)

41. What areas of science have implications for the age of the earth?

42. What are major methods scientists use to estimate the age of the earth, and what is their consensus on the estimate?

43. What is the relationship between belief in a global flood and the age of the earth?


Old Earth Creationism

44. What is “Old Earth Creationism (OEC)?”

45. What are the major reasons OECs reject the YEC interpretation of creation?

46. What are the key pieces of scriptural support for the OEC interpretation?

 

Intelligent Design

47. What is Intelligent Design?

48. Why do Intelligent Design proponents consider it a scientific theory and not a religious one?

49. What are the major reasons Intelligent Design proponents reject evolution as a sufficient explanation for the existence of life?

50. What does it mean that the universe appears to be “finely tuned?”

 

Evolution

51. What is evolution (from a purely scientific perspective)?

52. What are the key pieces of evidence for evolution?

53. What are the key questions evolution has not answered?

54. What do people mean when they talk about “macroevolution” versus “microevolution”?

55. Why do evolutionists reject the theory of intelligent design?

56. What are the theological implications for an acceptance of evolution?

57. What are the theological implications specifically for Adam and Eve not being literal, historical people?


Other Science and Christianity Questions

58. Why would Jesus-loving, Bible-believing Christians differ on their view of origins?

59. How can Christians believe miracles are possible, given what we know about science (e.g., the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection)?

 

Other Important (and Common) Questions

60. What does it mean (biblically) to have faith, and how is that different than the popular definition of faith?

61. If Christianity is true, why are there so many Christians whose lives look no different than those of non-believers (aren’t many Christians hypocrites)?

62. Why are there so many denominations (and does the fact of many denominations invalidate the truth of Christianity)?

63. Is Christianity “responsible” for millions of deaths throughout history? Why or why not, and what implications does the answer have for the evaluation of Christian truth claims?

64. What happens to people who have never heard the Gospel?

65. Why don’t miracles happen as frequently today as they did in the Bible?

 

My new book, Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith, provides easy-to-understand and concise answers to 40 of these questions! It’s now available from your local Barnes & Noble and Christian retailers, as well as online at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and ChristianBook.com

Does anyone want to share their “score?” 🙂 Are there questions that stand out to you which aren’t on my list? Please add them below!

74 thoughts on “65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer”

  1. I have a passion for God’s Word….so quite naturally it has birthed a love of apologetics. So, I look forward to your articles and resources.

  2. As a youth pastor for 15 years and now a discipleship/theology pastor, I am so encouraged by this post. Thank you for the comprehensive and helpful list of questions. I will pass it on to our leaders and people. Of course, many parents are not competent in these subjects, much less are they prepared to teach apologetics to their teens. This possess an important challenge for church leaders to train parents. But if we wait for parents to become competent as apologists, we will miss yet another generation of teens. I am thankful our church also has a youth pastor who is training our students in apologetics and theology on a weekly basis.

    1. Hi Pastor Helton, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m blessed that it’s something you found helpful to pass on to your leaders. You are very right – we can’t wait for parents to become competent apologists. We need churches to have leaders already prepared to train the youth, while simultaneously training the parents. I wish all churches were training their students in apologetics weekly!

  3. Nope. I can’t share my score because I got overwhelmed just reading through the list. Clearly I have some topics I should be studying up on in 2014. Thank you for the inspiration. I’m kind of excited to pick a question and dig in. I’m also looking forward to reading what you have to share on these questions in the coming year. 🙂

  4. I am blown away that even though I was raised in a Christian church, attended a Christian school from kindergarten to twelfth grade and then went to a Christian college that I can’t answer most of these. Thank you for posting these. I’ve been concerned lately with how to keep me kids “in the world but not of the world” lately and this helps point me in the right direction. Thank you!

    1. Hi Abby, Thank you for sharing that so honestly! You’re certainly not alone. I didn’t go to Christian schools, but I have been in church my whole life and have never heard most of these directly addressed. It wasn’t until I studied them on my own in the last two years that I started to see how much this knowledge is needed amongst parents. I’m so glad it was helpful to you!

  5. My score is 62. What a great list for all Christians to take responsibility for, and an interest in exploring. These are critical questions to find satisfying answers to, if we are to meaningfully engage the culture! As a mother of 3 young kids, I am just getting to the stage where my older ones have deep questions. I love and encourage their inquiring minds. Also, I am forever thankful to have been raised by parents who were never shaken by any of the millions of faith questions I posed over the years. They taught me that truth will stand firm under pressure.

    1. Wow, Jennifer, 62 is great! It’s so important to embrace and not fear the questions from our kids – it sounds like you had wonderful parents as role models in that. Truth will indeed stand firm! Thanks so much for your comment.

      1. Tony "Kyonsenkoku"

        i love how you mentioned the part about human sacrifice… i really like to being that part up in discussions with christians

  6. A friend of mine posted this article on facebook. I am encouraged that you will be doing this series and look forward to keeping up with it in the coming new year. I read your “New Here” section and love the word “intentional.” God bless your efforts!

    P.S. Check out my site and you’ll understand why apologetics is important to me. 😉

  7. Pingback: 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

  8. Natasha, thanks so much for bringing this issue to the forefront. I am so passionate about it that I have joined the national team at Ratio Christi as their Director of Prayer and Women’s Outreach. We are a ministry that trains high school and college kids in how to defend their faith philosophically, historically and scientifically . We have chapters on college campuses and we are rolling out our College Prep program to train adult mentors in equipping our high school youth. We serve the local community, the church and the campus. We have a ton of resources and links right on our website that can help get parents and churches started in this task. The theme of my role in the ministry is “Teach Yourself. Train Your Child. Transform the World.” This is a critical time for the church and we must be prepared to give a reasoned defense of the hope within us. We need to show the world that Christianity stands as the most reasonable worldview when people will truly investigate its truths and its evidence. Keep up the good work. I encourage others to check out our website for more help: http://www.ratiochristi.org
    Thanks.

    1. Julie Loos, Wow. What you have shared is great and so very inspiring. Thank you. I am very interested in somehow being involved in something like it, I feel like it is something I have been training for all my life in Christ. God bless every effort in His Son. Amen

    2. Julie, Thanks so much for your comment! Your ministry is amazing. I love the theme “Teach Yourself. Train Your Child. Transform the World.” Awesome! If, in the course of your work, you see an opportunity for me to support you through my blog (or otherwise), please do contact me. I would love to be involved. Thanks, Julie!

  9. I think it is great, it is like preparing a vaccine in advance for immunization and defense against the germs and bacteria that cause soul disease. I think these are the right questions, perfect. Well done. The spirit of disobedience that works in the children of disobedience is always trying to get to the youth younger and younger as pharaoh did in Egypt and slay them mentally and spiritually. I think by Gods grace if our children both physical and spiritual will study to be able answer the questions in this list they will not be able to be overcome easily. God bless every effort.

    1. Thanks very much Andre! Good analogy about the vaccine. When we can be very confident our kids will encounter something (such as the questions on this list), it’s really no longer a choice to sit back and do nothing!

      1. “Like prepping a vaccine…”
        Yes!!! Made me think… we are vaccinating our daughters’ bodies, which will die, but are we vaccinating their eternal souls or just teaching very good (and healthy and desirable!) sanitation habits. Be more like Christ, but what about the questions they will face or ask themselves?

        My husband and I are so intentional about talking regularly with our kids about what God has called us to and the power of the Spirit to live out our faith, but we have read a few of your blog posts since finding the site yesterday and we’ll be doing a lot more apologetics work!

        Thanks Andre for the analogy and thanks Natasha for the incredible resources! Ordering the book now ?

  10. There is a good app, Christian Apologetics Research Ministery or CARM that is available you might look at. It talks about a lot of topics, but I do know there are probably copyright things you need to observe. Just a thought!

  11. Praising the Lord for bringing me to your site! I have hit a dry spell in my own study time and know it’s affecting my daughters on some level. Your posts are just what I need to get my appetite wet again, thank you for sharing your love of our Savior through your passion for His Precious Word! Blessings sweet sister!

  12. Hi, I run one of the leading online apologetics ministries, tektonics.org. A ministry partner of mine told me about this list and suggested that I assemble a collection of answers/resources. I have most of what I’d need on hand, just need to assemble it. I’ll do that and advise when I have it done.

    1. Hi James, I’ll be answering each of these questions over the coming year on my blog. In each one, I’ll provide links for “further reading.” Thanks for the link to your site – I’ll be sure to check it out for possible sources to include!

  13. Pingback: Natasha Crain – 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer » Christian Apologetics & Intelligence Ministry

  14. Thank you for this list. I have been away from the church for many years and have recently begun the journey of reexploring my faith, and bringing my 9 year old into the fold at the same time. This will give me a good foundation of where I can begin with her.

  15. Great post. I found you from the Cold Case Xianity website. My husband is reading J Warner Wallace’s book of that name.

    Your website is a great resource for parents and anyone who loves the children and youth around us.

    Is it all right if I print the list out? It is technically copyrighted, since you composed it. I want to use it in our parent-led (home) education.

  16. These are wonderful questions that not only parents need to learn to answer but also pastors. The young generation is hungry to know what they believe, why they believe and how they ought to believe.

    Thank you so much for this collections of questions, we as parents and youth pastors, ought to dance with and provide a comprehensive and well reasoned responses for the glory of God and joy of His people.

  17. Very important and key questions, thanks a lot for this. It will help me to teach and help my leaders. Thanks again.
    César

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  19. Mariana Montbriand

    I go to mass regularly and struggle with many of these questions. The way I see it, if God is love, all we need to do is love unconditionally. Some would say that’s too simple, but what did Jesus do? Did he stone the adultering women, or damn each and every nonbeliever? The bible is written by people, and therefore flawed. But God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are constant.

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  22. Thanks for this very insightful article. As a youth worker, and a leader in our church I am horrified by the number of young people who lose their faith when they leave school and leave home.
    What is worse is the attitude of many parents and church leaders who feel that their children are immune to the attacks of atheists.
    I shall continue to read your blogs and refer others to your website as I feel you are able to feed into them in a way that they won’t be able to hear from me.
    Cheers and Blessings from New Zealand.

  23. so for those parents (not ME, of course, but you know, those OTHERS) who can’t answer many of these questions, how do we (I mean, THEY) teach their kids? Do you have any good resources to point (ahem) “them” to? 😉

    1. Hi Janice,
      Here are a few things that helped me, and that came to mind as I tried to answer these questions:
      1. C. S. Lewis is my favorite writer and was a brilliant apologist. His apologetic works “Mere Christianity”, “Miracles”, and “The Problem of Pain” answer many of these questions in easy-to-understand ways. He’s weak on creation vs. evolution (not being a scientist), but his logic is impeccable and his style is delightful.
      2. The Institute for Creation Research is a scientific research group of young-earth creationists that see evidence of creation everywhere and engage with other views in much of their published work. Their website is http://www.icr.org.
      3. Answers in Genesis is another group of young-earth creationists, but they focus more on education, worldview, and evangelism. Their stuff is often much easier to understand than the highly technical scientific language of ICR. AiG can be found at http://www.answersingenesis.org.
      Hope this helps, ah, “them”. 🙂

  24. Wonderful list, Natasha. Thank you. I look forward to your upcoming posts. I have two kids in college and realize more and more why thoughtful discussion in the early years is so very important to what a child believes. God bless you.

  25. I think I fail big time, could you put some answers up?? for those that don’t have answers to these questions?? They are all very good questions many I have not even thought of i’d love to be prepared to answer them.

  26. several of these questions have far stronger and more reasonable answers from the Catholic Christian perspective.

  27. I am feeling overwhelmed! As a grandmother, with a large role in raising two grandsons,I am convinced of the necessity of having the answers but I need guidance. I read the Bible daily and believe the truth go God’s word but I don’t even know where to start to pull solid answered together for these questions. Do you have any suggestions as to where to begin?

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  29. Thanks so much for compiling such a great and thorough list! I look forward to reading your answers to all of this. It is SOO important for not only every Christian parent to teach their kids these truths but also for every Christian themself to have some understanding of the Scriptural answers for these often-posed questions. In case it may help you answer some of the questions, especially about Suffering and Evil, my husband wrote 4 books regarding these topics and God. I linked you to the website, but here it is in case it doesn’t work: http://www.bradburke.com
    Thank you SO MUCH for the blessing you are and encouragement to us as parents!

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  31. Do you have a printer friendly version of this on PDF? Doing The Truth Project Bible study now. Thank you!

  32. These are all important questions. I found most them easy to answer. Nevertheless, we should never take it for granted that we know enough. And as always we need to regard Christ as Lord and be ready to always give an answer for our hope.

    Another good question is: How do you use the authority of the Bible in your apologetics without using circular reasoning?

    Answer: Since God is the necessary, uncreated being , there is nothing outside of Him that can prove the bible is true, rather it is a self-authenticating Book, and derives it’s absolute truth and authority from God. We begin where the bible begins. “The fear of The LORD is the BEGINNING of knowledge”.

    1. Wayne MacKirdy

      Actually, the Bible begins, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.” that is the best place to start!

  33. J. Benny Joseph

    Thanks for this list. This summer I had planned to spend more time with my children and not send them to any camps. At least 65 days are my summer are covered. Every christian should invest their time in studying and knowing answers to these questions.
    Thanks again

  34. Pingback: Random Apologetics – Evidence for Evolution | Igniscient Apologetics

  35. I can answer most of these either from what I know off the top of my head or from the books on my bookshelf. I love apologetics, and I love this list because my son is four months old, which means that answering these questions will begin in just a few years! I love that you highlighted the “most important” of the 65 questions, too, because my husband isn’t a big reader, so being able to just discuss the most important questions with him will go a long way.

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  38. A good list! Although some of the questions do seem a bit contrived. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a student ask, “What are the four minimal facts of the resurrection that are so strongly attested historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar who studies the subject, even the rather skeptical ones?” Good info. to know there for answering questions that ARE asked, but don’t expect any student to come up with such a question on their own.

    1. Hi Chase, Agreed – a kid wouldn’t ask that question or some of these others on their own. That said, this wasn’t intended to be a list of questions that kids are necessarily asking already. It’s a list of questions parents should proactively learn to answer and discuss with their kids.

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  40. I used to wonder and even ask these questions. As I tested each one and many others I realized the answers were simpler than I expected. It has taught me to trust the bible explicitly.

    God does not allow evil and suffering anymore than He allows good. Living in a fractured creation, things happen. We can minimize the negative by following God’s Word. Unfortunately that will not solve all problems which is a lesson to what life is without God’s protection. This should pause each person to think about their choices in life.

    Miracles happen all the time. If one is expecting a banner pointing to the miracle while it’s in progress well then you may be waiting a while.

    The most troubling last question I had was Jesus promising his disciples a return for them before they die. The bible teaches us they were killed. It would beg the question did Jesus come? I would say yes, He came for each of them and spared them the suffering of their execution.

    As far as the second coming, Jesus did not say when. The bible has a chronological timeline of events that attributes to a belief of closeness of the coming but no method to claim it.

    All in all, when my faith was tested, I researched the issue and referenced the bible for clarification.

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  42. Natasha: I have perused the questions you have posted. It appears as if you are asking the ‘right’ ones. Over the past year (+) I have investigated these questions via many books, websites, lectures and debates. From appearances, you have probably read many of these books and listened to many presenters. However, if you would like a list of books and lectures that you may be needing or wanting, please email me and I will forward them to you. For the most part these are the questions I have asked and gotten answers to. This is a well-thought out list.

  43. I just wanted to ask for an update on the book? I wanted to make sure you are still working on it and if you know a date it will be out? I am very very interested in it. Thank you

  44. Truly thankful for your blog. A real blessing which I look forward to reading at the end of each day.

  45. Nathasha and the crew God bless you. I have been blessed by your immerse expositions on topics that relate to parenting. I will be sharing this with my wife and other family friends. Cheers.

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  53. Very helpful list… used for my opening remarks of my message last Sunday. I wanted to thank you! Preached from 1 Peter 3:13-17 and focused on verse 15. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” I think the struggles many believers have with these kind of questions (and I had at one time) is that they personally have not become settled in their heart that Jesus Christ [and His Word] is sufficient. When assailed by questions like these, they not only do not have the answers but it causes doubt about what they have been taught. However, if they have sanctified the Lord God in their heart, then questions they are confronted with only drives them to find our answers but does not rock their faith. May I suggest one resource? Presuppositional Apologetics by Greg Bahnsen

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