Is Christian Education Simply a Matter of Religious Indoctrination? | J Warner Wallace


This particular post authored by  J Warner Wallace is simply excellent and addresses an issue that Christians often encounter. Coming from a military background I am acutely aware of the benefits of indoctrination while at the same time, cognoscente of it’s shortfalls. There is an important distinction between instruction and training and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it better articulated than in this post.

My good friend Brett Kunkle and I have been working diligently to address a dilemma facing the Church: the departure of young Christians who walk away from Christianity in their college years. We’ve had great success with youth groups when we’ve been able to convince their leaders to stop teaching and start training. I’ve been writing recently about the model I employed with my own youth group using the acronym T.R.A.I.N. In response to a recent post, however, two commenters described this effort as nothing more than religious indoctrination:

“I wish more parents would teach both sides of the argument, like a good professor would, and let the children decide for themselves. If I’m not mistaken, you’re not recommending critical thinking; on the contrary, you’re recommending a more rigorous indoctrination strategy.”

“If Christianity is true then I can see how this would help to further its growth, but if it’s not true then doesn’t this look like indoctrination? …Why not give up trying to control them and start to empower them to make their own decisions? Give them all the opinions and options for religious belief and let them pick what they think is right from a young age.”

Is our effort to train our Christian students nothing more than a biased, aggressive form of religious indoctrination? As someone who was a non-believer for most of my life, I think it’s possible (and necessary) to train students how to think, rather than simply tell them what to think:

To read the rest of this excellent post please click on the direct link below:




Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith, Witnessing
4 comments on “Is Christian Education Simply a Matter of Religious Indoctrination? | J Warner Wallace
  1. bcparkison says:

    I seem to always agree with Mr. Wallace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! I remember being on the board of a Christian school, advocating for comparative religion classes, rather than just Bible study. By the time my oldest was in high school, the school had a course in world views, and my daughter knew more than I ever did about religions, philosophies, and scientific theories. – She could tell you the difference between secular humanism and post-modernism (and punch holes in both of them!).

    Liked by 1 person

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