Parents, Youth Pastors, Educators: Teach ‘Two Whys for Every What’ — Book Excerpt

Excerpt from Essential New Book ‘So the Next Generation Will Know’

By Sean McDowell & J. Warner Wallace Published on April 30, 2019

The following is excerpted with permission from So the Next Generation Will Know: Preparing Young Christians for a Challenging World by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace.


As pastors, parents and educators, we’ve all explained what is true to our young people. What do we believe about God? What are the claims of Christianity? What does the Bible teach about important moral issues? Most of us have engaged these topics at church, home or school. But simple propositions about the nature of God or the claims of Christianity may or may not ignite a fire in our young people.

That’s why we suggest taking two additional steps. For every what you offer the young people in your life, be sure to add two whys.

Here’s Help!

Need help knowing how to answer these why questions for your young people? Be sure to check out the book this was taken from: So the Next Generation Will Know, by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace. It’s packed with practical, essential help for you as a parent, youth leader or educator.

Whats and Whys

First, why is the claim you’re making true? When teaching about the nature of God, for example, it’s tempting to default to “because the Bible says so” when a young person asks us to defend a claim. But take the time to explain the philosophical or evidential support beyond the teaching of the Bible. Why is the Bible’s definition of God as an eternal, all-powerful, uncreated Creator evidentially reasonable? Why does the Bible’s definition of God make sense?

Young people want to know why we believe what we believe. If want to get them excited [about the faith], we need to help them see that the Christian worldview is reasonable and evidentially true.

Next, help young people understand why any of this should matter to them. Once we’ve described what is true and why it’s supported by the evidence, take the time to explain why they should care in the first place. How does this truth impact their lives? How does it change the way they view themselves or the world? How does this truth guide or protect them?

This simple approach — two whys for every what — can change the way we preach, teach, or counsel the young people in our lives.

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So the Next Generation Will Know: Preparing Young Christians for a Challenging World by Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace is available for pre-order today; it releases on Wednesday, May 1. This excerpt used by permission.

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Alisa Keeton
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