Preparing Students to Defend Their Faith

What will happen when your teenager sits down for his or her first class at college and a professor comes out to immediately challenge and confront Christian beliefs?

Unfortunately, many young people are ill equipped to defend their faith.

Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World, a new book by Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock and Josh Chatraw and published by B&H, looks to prepare students for the intellectual scrutiny their faith will face once they leave home.

Using the writings and lectures of famed Christian critic and University of North Carolina religion professor Bart Ehrman as a starting point, Truth Matters deals with common objections to Christianity that college students often face.

Perhaps surprisingly, the book opens by examining what makes the arguments raised by Ehrman and others so appealing. The authors conclude the opening chapter by asserting that no one can completely prove (or disprove) the Bible, but “there are reasonable answers to be had that consistently correspond to the beliefs of the Christian faith.”

The authors explain their purpose for writing Truth Matters was to provide answers to scholarly topics from a solidly Christian viewpoint.

So what questions does the book address? Chapters two through seven tackle one broad topic each.

  • If God is there and He cares, why is there suffering in this world?
  • Why were the specific books included in the Bible?
  • Are there contradictions in the Bible?
  • How can we trust the Bible if we only have copies, instead of the originals?
  • How do we know we are practicing the right version of Christianity?
  • Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

The authors manage to respond to each challenge in a winsome and accessible manner, while still being faithful to Scripture and scholarship.

Less than 200 pages, Truth Matters can provide parents and student ministers with a handy guide for the questions facing their teenagers. Students themselves could easily toss the book in their backpack as a quick resource to help think through challenges to Christianity.

But more than simply offering an intellectual justification for following Christ, the book encourages readers to be “His disciple as well as His defender.”

Check out Truth Matters, released today on WORDsearch, here.

Aaron Earls is a writer for corporate communications at Lifeway. Originally posted on Lifeway’s LifeLines blog.

How do you help students cope with their questions of faith?


  1. David Mercado says

    The last blog entry was 03.11.14.
    Why is there none for Free Friday 03.14.14?
    Thank you.

    • Thanks David! We had some technical difficulties on Friday, so we just posted a Free Monday book you can download. Thanks so much for your patience and kind words!

  2. I noticed there was not a free book this Friday. I’m not complaining, don’t get me wrong. I saw this as an opportunity to say how much I appreciate all the free books that I have received. Even though I do not have time to read everything I have in my library it is such a great thing to have them at my disposal. Thank you so much for the free books and the bundled deals!

    • Thanks Michael! We had some technical difficulties on Friday, so we just posted a Free Monday book you can download. Thanks so much for your patience and kind words!

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