- “God did not create people; people created God.”
- “Religions probably evolved as a way for humans to explain the unexplainable.”
- “This is the 21st century. No one seriously believes the Bible’s teachings anymore.”
- “Christians have been some of the most dangerous people in history.”
- “There is not a single piece of evidence against evolution.”
These are messages I’ve personally encountered in secular culture or classrooms—messages that can sound more and more persuasive as intelligent professors or peers repeat them. Today, it’s no secret that messages like these pervade culture, replacing biblical values with the religion of secular humanism.1 As an atheistic worldview, secular humanism claims that people evolved apart from any God, meaning that morality, ethics, and truth itself are all ours to decide.
Clearly, these evolutionary claims contradict a biblical worldview2 and lead to serious consequences3 for both society and the church. In fact, research has linked Christian youth’s unanswered questions about evolutionary ideas to the reality that two-thirds of churched teens are leaving their faith by young adulthood.4 How can Christian students keep their faith while hearing evolutionary (or otherwise unbiblical) ideas taught as fact?
That’s what I wanted to find out.
Personally Seeking Solutions
Since first hearing Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham explain the relevance of biblical authority when I was 14, I’d hoped to learn how to help Christian students keep their biblical worldview uncompromised—especially during evolutionary education. But first, I’d need to become one of those students. So, after 12 years of homeschooling in a Christian environment, I studied science at secular university. There, I began realizing how urgently students need biblical, critical thinking skills, which are like a mental toolkit for logically evaluating messages. Four years at university let me test these tools firsthand, developing a critical thinking system to process the faith-challenging messages I heard in class.
After graduation, I couldn’t wait to start sharing these tools with other students. But first, because non-biblical worldviews inundate school systems worldwide, I wanted to learn how students in other cultures keep their faith at university. So, I embarked on an adventure I called 360 in 180, a solo mission to backpack 360° around the world in 180 days documenting Christian students’ experiences in different countries. You can find the whole story of 360 in 180 starting here on my blog. But the top takeaway is that, while the problems Christian students face often vary by culture, the solutions are largely the same. This means that focusing on a few key, strategic areas—what I call spiritual, intellectual, and interpersonal foundations—could make a difference for the future of the church worldwide!
A Must-Have Survival Kit
One of those solutions, intellectual foundations, involves students’ need for apologetics. Apologetics, the rational defense of the Christian faith, equips believers to answer specific worldview questions, like “How do we know the Bible is true?” or “What about dinosaurs, evolution and millions of years?” But as I discovered at university, no matter how many apologetics answers you learn for defending your worldview, you're always bound to have new questions, because there will always be new information. And then what do you do?
That’s where critical thinking skills come in.
These skills help you think like an apologist—to reason about any message that challenges Scripture and to arrive at a biblical, logical conclusion yourself. God’s Word is true, so anything that contradicts it must be a lie, and critical thinking skills equip you to identify how those lies fall apart. These skills are an especially important survival kit for students, who need accessible tools to process the faith-challenging messages they hear every day without draining valuable study time. But at some point, all of us encounter persuasive information presented as fact which challenges a Biblical worldview. So, critical thinking matters for everyone.
Tools for the Real World
That’s why now, as Answers in Genesis Canada’s Youth Outreach Coordinator, I’m so excited to be sharing the critical thinking tools which helped me at university, and which apply to any Christian in secular classrooms and culture. These tools center around the framework I used as a student myself, which I now call the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking. One of my favourite presentations as an AiG CA speaker, How to Think About ‘Facts’ that Challenge Your Faith, outlines this framework, as does a free eBook version of this seminar.
A Video Program Designed to Deliver a Daily Dose of Biblical Discernment
I’ll be unpacking these tools even more in my new video series, CT (Critical Thinking) Scan. These daily five-minute episodes are designed to teach Christians how to think through any faith-challenging message they encounter and reach a biblical, logical response themselves. Using relevant, real-world examples from today’s classrooms and culture, each video will explore topics like the following:
- How to break down arguments with the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking
- How to quickly spot logical fallacies (without having to know their Latin names)
- How to detect false teaching
- How to recognize and respond to propaganda
- How to overcome psychological manipulation
- How to separate facts from assumptions, opinions, and interpretations
Along with these free, practical resources for equipping any believer, I’m also preparing a full-length student survival guidebook for Christian students at secular university. The book will feature theoretical, preparatory, and practical advice to help Christians thrive in their faith at campus, based on biblical principles, scientific research, personal experience, and insights from Christian students worldwide!
Whether you’re a student, parent, pastor, or any other believer, I pray these resources strengthen and encourage you to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word—the only solid foundation for life in a world of deception.
Your sister in Christ,