What do I think of Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace’s new book published by David C. Cook? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This book is not your typical apologetics book. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it an apologetics book. If you want to know if God exists, you’re wasting your time coming here. If you want to know if Jesus rose from the dead or if the New Testament is reliable, look elsewhere. If you want to know if you should wait until marriage to have sex, come back to this one later on.
Yet despite that, this is still a very important book for apologetics.
Why? Because this is dealing with Generation Z, a generation many older people will not really know how to interact with. For Z, 9-11 has always been a reality. Either they were born after it or they were born in a time when they couldn’t really know what was going on when it happened. This generation has grown up with internet that you don’t have to dial-up to use. This generation has grown up with smartphones. As a gamer, I can even use one of the images that I think of when I see the younger generation of gamers coming up.
If we talk about gaming, in my generation, you had to do something like read Nintendo Power, or once a month or so call a long-distance (GASP!) line that charged to get tips you needed to win or talk to kids on the playground. Not so today. Nope. You just get on Google and look up what you want to do or watch a YouTube video where someone shows you how to do it.
Generation Z is also looking for real relationships and real answers. These are people that won’t answer a question with “I don’t know” but “Let me Google that for you.” They can fact check what you say right on the spot. It doesn’t mean they will do a good job of it necessarily, but they can try. This is a generation that will talk to you while on their phone and not think a thing about it. (Okay. I’m 38 and I will do the same thing so it’s not totally different.) This is a generation that is quite literally, plugged in.
Wallace and McDowell have written a book about how to reach them. This is something that if you are a youth pastor should be required reading. Parents should also learn about this generation and the realities that they grow up with. This generation needs to know the Gospel as well, especially since our society is becoming more and more post-Christian.
The book is a guide on how to best interact with this generation in the home, in the school, and in the church. McDowell and Wallace have experience as well having gone on trips with these young people and having had jobs where they were in touch with them and working with them. They talk about the way to build up relationships and do so in a way that the youth will actually listen.
As someone on social media, I see many people coming up who I think are in generation Z and some are Christians and apologists like myself. Some are also non-Christians and antagonistic towards Christianity. I can still notice the differences in our approach. It still amazes my wife and me when we both talk about “kids today” realizing we’re doing what our parents did and wondering when we became them.
If you are in youth ministry, get this book. If you are in a pastorate, get this book to learn how to interact with those younger people. If you are a parent, get this book. If you care anything about the next generation, get this book.