#30: How to Explain the Trinity to a Child

How to Explain the Trinity to a Child

How do you explain the Trinity to a child? For that matter, how do you explain the Trinity to anyone?

The first thing you need to know is that the Bible never uses the word “Trinity.” The word Trinity captures the various ways the Bible talks about the nature of God.

Also, the Trinity is one of the essential and foundational doctrines of the Christian faith. You can’t have Christianity without it.

I want to share a clear and memorable way to understand what the Bible teaches about the Trinity. I first came across this illustration from Norm Geisler.

One What and Three Who’s

There is one what and three who’s. There is one God and three persons. The “what” refers to the nature of God that all three persons share.

The belief that there is only one God is clearly taught in Scripture. For example,

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! – Deuteronomy 6:4

That there are three persons is also clearly taught in Scripture. We see all three persons described and at work in various passages, including 2 Cor. 13:14:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. Each is a distinct person. Three who’s. (more…)

#29: Will Your Kids Faith Survive YouTube?

Will Your Kid’s Faith Survive YouTube?

Worldview training is not optional for today’s teenagers.

As a parent, pastor, educator or youth pastor you need to know that training in worldview, apologetics, and theology is good for the heart and soul of the next generation.

I believe in the next generation. I love getting to spend time with them talking about the big questions of life and the everyday stuff of life.

Gen Z has amazing potential and I think God will use them greatly. (Here’s my interview with David Kinnaman of the Barna Group and Catalyst podcast on Gen Z)

But they must be trained.

Worldview training is not optional for today’s teenagers

Here’s the bottom line—it’s exhausting to live a compartmentalized faith.

Yet, many Christian teenagers are trying to do this impossible task every day. And it’s taking a toll on their soul and faith.

The cultural messages are strong, and the challenges are unrelenting. Students are being shaped more by YouTube and Netflix than by what they are hearing on a typical Sunday morning.

There’s a disconnect.

Faith and feeling goes in one category of life on Sunday; reason and thinking goes in another category the rest of the week. That kind of faith will not survive.

All the while, what they come to see as normal is being subtly changed—without rational argument by the way—by the videos they watch on YouTube and the shows they watch on Netflix.

Nancy Pearcey on Worldview Training and the Next Generation

Nancy Pearcey’s words are very preceptive here:

As Christian parents, pastors, teachers, and youth group leaders, we constantly see young people pulled down by the undertow of powerful cultural trends. If all we give them is a “heart” religion, it will not be strong enough to counter the lure of attractive but dangerous ideas. Young believers also need a “brain” religion — training in worldview and apologetics — to equip them to analyze and critique the competing worldviews they will encounter when they leave home. If forewarned and forearmed, young people at least have a fighting chance when they find themselves a minority of one among their classmates or work colleagues. Training young people to develop a Christian mind is no longer an option; it is part of their necessary survival equipment.

Confidence and integration come from knowing why you believe what you believe and then how to live it out. And that’s really good for the heart.

We don’t have to pick between thinking well and loving well.

We don’t have to choose between reason and relationships. As Christians, we get to do both.

As Christian Parents, Where Do We Start with Gen Z in a YouTube World?

That’s why I am so excited to share my new online course–5 Things Every Teenager Needs to Build a Lasting Faith—with you as a next step here.

It can be confusing to know where to start or what to focus on. There never seems to be enough time for the things that matter. I’ve removed the guesswork and created a Faith Ownership Dashboard for you to follow.

For years I have been sharing these truths with parents and church leaders in conferences and breakout sessions as an application of my book Welcome to College.

Now they are available for you to work through at your own pace on the go and apply to your own family.

We can’t choose for our kids and God will do what he will do in his providence—but our part is vital if we want to give our kids the chance to build a lasting faith. There is not a silver bullet formula, but there is a framework that we can apply by God’s grace to make a lasting difference!


#28: Why Read the Bible?

Why Read the Bible?

The short answer is the Bible brings life to our souls.

Let these words wash over your mind and paint a picture of what the Bible does for us…

7The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Here are 8 Reasons to Read God’s Word from Psalm 19:7-11. The Bible… (more…)

#27: Knowledge of God Matters

Knowledge of God Matters.

Which do you think shows up more in the Bible—faith or knowledge? If you do a concordance search, you will find something surprising. Knowledge (including knowing, know, etc.) shows up far more than faith does.

Of course, without faith, it is impossible to please God, but knowledge is far more important to God than people realize. Listen to (more…)

#26: Sincerity Is Not Enough

Sincerity is Not Enough

Devotion and Sincerity are admirable. But when it comes to questions of reality, we know this is not enough.

In our “follow your heart,” “You do you” and personalize everything to my own preferences world–this can be confusing.

Every day through Spotify, Netflix, and YouTube–People are discipled by our culture to think that right and wrong, gender, sexuality, and spirituality are determined by what I—as an individual–choose to believe. That’s the height of freedom right? Wrong.

Why? Because we all know that we’ve been sincerely wrong. Remember all those tests you took that your teacher had the audacity to count certain answers incorrect? Remember how sincere you were on the SAT and ACT? They didn’t care.

Or think of it this way. I am not a fan of heights. Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

But if I did, I would assure you that I would have all the sincerity in the world when I pulled the ripcord on that parachute.

But if that chute was improperly packed, I am going to have a very bad day.

Sincerity doesn’t change reality.

If we live in God’s Universe—and I think the evidence for that is very strong by the way—then God sets the rules and defines reality. And we either cooperate with it or slam into it when our beliefs are wrong.

And the best way to navigate reality is to read the designer’s manual—the Bible. It teaches us what is true and how to live.