A Review of Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies Hillary Morgan Ferrer, general editor
Hillary Morgan Ferrer noticed that there weren't many apologetics resources catering to Christian moms, but with moms being a family's first line of defense in a rapidly secularizing culture, she thought they stood most in need of them. So, in 2014 she launched Mama Bear Apologetics (MBA). Part online directory and part resource producer, MBA publishes a blog, a podcast, and a blog-cast (audio version of written materials for moms on the go). She spearheads it all, but MBA is a larger sisterhood of women apologists stepping up to help Christian moms protect and train up their children in the faith.
This past year, the Mama Bears produced their first book. While family devotionals and Sunday school curricula generally expose kids to Bible basics, Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies introduces parents to apologetics, so that they can learn and transmit to their kids both reasons for believing those basic claims are true and the critical thinking skills necessary for inoculation against the sneaky falsehoods lying in wait to trip them up.
Ideas don't come to us in neatly labeled subunits. Instead, whether in a children's book, a TV show, or something a friend says, falsehoods may pass under the radar as unstated assumptions, slip through via a logical fallacy, or come bound up in a mixed bundle of half-truths laced with error. Humorously (but effectively, given a mom's day-to-day life), Ferrer explains the discernment needed to carefully affirm those truths we can build on while separating out the lies we must reject for our wellbeing, a skill she calls the "chew-and-spit" method of dealing with ideas. To complement chew-and-spit, she devotes another full chapter to "Linguistic Theft" and the critical art of recognizing when words have been redefined to shut down discussion, manipulate people, or push a nefarious agenda.
The Mama Bear tagline is, love people but demolish their ideas. The remainder of the book is devoted to "Lies you've probably heard but didn't know what they were called"—how to recognize them, chew-and-spit appropriately, and demolish them with clarifying grace. Here's a sampling:
• Postmodernism says that there is no truth (but if there is no truth, then postmodernism can't be true).
• Similarly, Moral Relativism says it's wrong to tell someone he's wrong. Also presenting as, "Don't judge," it judges people who judge, effectively falling on its own sword.
• Emotionalism says follow your heart (but the Bible says our hearts can mislead us).
• The New Spirituality of "I'm spiritual but not religious" is a hodgepodge of the old paganism, Eastern mysticism, and pseudo-scientific psychology, often passed off in Christian terminology. (Linguistic theft is everywhere!)
• Today's Feminism either denies objective sex distinctions or vilifies men, both of which are unscriptural. Sometimes it does both, oblivious to the contradiction.
• Progressive Christianity says Christianity needs a makeover, but this makeover erases central tenets of the faith, such as the reality of sin and the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
There is more, but you get the picture. Critical thinking and Christian discernment aren't so much a skill set as a way of life to be taken up. The Mama Bear authors have put this together so that all of us can recognize false messages, offer discernment for clearer thinking, and argue for healthier approaches. This way, all of us can be empowered to take up the mantle of Mama Bear (or Papa or Auntie or Grammy Bear!) for the sake of the next generation.Terrell Clemmons
has a BS in Computer Science and worked as a software engineer with IBM until she hopped off the career track to be a full-time mom. She lives in Indianapolis, IN, and writes on apologetics and matters of faith.This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #52, Spring 2020 Copyright © 2020 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo52/little-lie-detectors