J. Max Wilson wrote a long article about how he feels the best way to strengthen the faith and character of people in an Internet age. A secular age where data and information are freely available.
I thought it was a worthwhile read. Here is a summary of suggestions he has to be more effective in our efforts.
1. Help them to have real, personal experiences with the divine.
2. Teach them an Ent-like aversion to hastiness in accepting or rejecting the facts and narratives which are presented to them.
3. Preemptively, but judiciously, present them with the facts, including complicated or difficult facts, within a faithful explanatory framework and narrative.
4. Educate our youth with a realistic understanding of science and scholarship.
5. Youth should also learn to be discerning and cautious about information they are given by believers in the church and apologists as well as critics.
6. Provide them with a framework that accounts for the individual fallibility of church leaders while still upholding the authority and legitimacy of the prophets and apostles as trustworthy spokesmen for God.
7. Teach them that questions are good, and that periodic struggle with doubt is normal and expected, but that doubt is something to be resolved and overcome, not cultivated and indulged.
8. Love them unconditionally, recognizing that real love means being willing to stand up for what is right, even if it is not what they want to hear.
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