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How to avoid a mid-life faith crisis

November 9th, 2017 | 8 Comments | Posted in Apologetics

woman in crisisRecently I talked with a nice, Christian lady, in her mid-30s, who confided in me that–even though she’s been a Christian her entire life–she started having doubts about her faith. When confronted with intellectual challenges she had never considered before, she began to wonder if her Christian belief had been based on blind faith–without any solid reasons to believe it’s true. She felt like her world was crumbling around her.

This lady is not alone. The other day I came across an apologetics blog written by  another Christian lady, named Alisa Childers, with a similar experience. Read her story. She, too, was in her mid-30s when she encountered questions she didn’t know how to answer and had a crisis of faith.

And last weekend, my husband, who is a pastor, gave a talk about evidence for the resurrection to some of the third- through sixth-grade-aged children at our church. After the talk, a high school student, who had been in the room listening, told my husband, “I wish someone had told me about that evidence when I was their age.”

Why do I share these stories? Because there is a pressing need for Christians to know that there are sound reasons to believe that the claims of Christianity are true. And I also share these stories because I’m passionately concerned that God’s people have a robust theology, sound Bible interpretation, and skills in contending for the Christian faith that “was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). My critiques of the New Apostolic Reformation are an outworking of my love for those things.

Thankfully, both of the Christian ladies I mentioned began to seek out books and other resources to help them investigate their faith intellectually. That’s great, but they’re not alone in their need for sound apologetics material. These ladies knew they had a need, but how many more don’t? Lifelong churchgoers shouldn’t have to wait until their mid-30s to discover apologetics. It ought to be taught at a church level.

One thing our church does to address this need is to host an annual apologetics conference. Organizations like Biola University’s Apologetics Program partner with churches and help them host “Biola on the Road” events.

Other things churches can do is offer Sunday School classes in apologetics. And small groups of parents can gather to study books that teach them how to answer their kids’ difficult questions, like the two books written by apologist and parenting blogger Natasha Crain.

One great apologetics website that can get you started is Greg Koukl’s Stand to Reason.

But the main point is that to avoid a mid-life crisis of faith for ourselves, our churches, and our kids we must be proactive and start the training now, before the challenge hits. So, what is your church doing?

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Holly Pivec is the co-author of A New Apostolic Reformation?: A Biblical Response to a Worldwide Movement and God’s Super-Apostles: Encountering the Worldwide Prophets and Apostles Movement. She has a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University.

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8 Responses to “How to avoid a mid-life faith crisis”

  1. Paula Southworth Says:

    Good afternoon. Our previous church did nothing as far as apologetics went. Then again, they are Baptist, pre-trib, dispensational. Which I now believe to be false. My husband and I left the church about four years ago. Due to my multiple sclerosis and our geographical location (there’s a Catholic, Baptist, and Methodist church surrounding us), we home church. I would recommend to these ladies seek it out on your own. 

  2. Shannon Dunphy Says:

    I went through my faith mid-life crisis in my 30′s as well. And if I truly kept my eyes on God and His word, and learned how to discern when I was younger, I may have avoided it… The past few weeks, God has been teaching me to know what I believe and be aware and get rid of false teaching that I have let into my life. I am learning (oh, and still learning… really, a life long goal…) what the Bible really says so that I can make a defense for the hope I have!
    “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:14-15

  3. Patricia Dalrymple Says:

    Holly, I appreciate your work so much! You are absolutely right on. I am ministering at a small teen retreat this weekend. Friday night I am ministering on the difference between a Christian worldview and a secular worldview and teaching on creationism. My husband is a traveling evangelist and before we got married, I taught in Children’s ministries and taught them why we believe what we believe. christians need to know these things and they won’t falter if they know how to defend the Christian faith.

  4. Bruce Cooper Says:

    Excellent Holly! Putting on the full armour of God requires preparation so that it is there to put on. Blessings!

  5. kadri liisa Says:

    Thank you for bringing it up. However it reminded to me James Fowler stages of faith how it happens in lives of children and later adults. And i think it is normal when people revaluate religion part in their lives and also this what they believe or not believe at all anymore.

  6. BMO Says:

    Something that has really helped me in my faith has been keeping a written track record of the testimonies of God’s kindness and faithfulness in my life.  The apologetics training our church has done is wonderful and definitely helps me give an intellectual and reasoned answer for our faith.  But what speaks the most to my heart in seasons of doubt or struggle is remembering the answered prayers and the help God has provided in the past.  It makes truths like, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” come alive when I can see in my own handwriting that God has always been faithful.

  7. Holly Says:

    Kadri, yes, it may be normal, and it’s certainly a good thing for people to evaluate their beliefs. Having learned about apologetics beforehand will assist them during those times.

  8. John Orr Says:

    I recently left a church that I had attended for ten years. Forty years ago Brian Simmons attended the church where i lived for a week. This was soon after he and his wife returned from their mission to the Kuns Indians .Brian began his agrees to the church by saying,”God is here in his fulness…” and i was in the spirit. In short i can believe his account of how a vibrant church was formed among the Luna Indian, even though it is quite in believable. More later i must get the kids to school.

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