J. Warner Wallace has had a remarkable career as a cold case detective. And in the past five years, he has become one of the most influential and recognizable apologists. In this podcast, he shares unique insights about his journey from atheism to Christianity, and then gives some practical suggestions, from his experience as a youth pastor and parent, about how to reach and engage young people today.

More About Our Guest

J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective, speaker, and author. He is a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. He is best-selling author of Cold Case Christianity and the co-author of the recent So The Next Generation Will Know with Sean McDowell. His twitter handle is @jwarnerwallace and his site is coldcasechristianity.com.

Episode Transcript

Sean McDowell: Welcome to the podcast Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture. I'm your host, Sean McDowell, professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Scott Rae: I'm your co-host, Scott Rae, dean of faculty and professor of Christian ethics, also at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

Sean McDowell: We're here with a guest today that we have wanted to have on for a long time. You will recognize his name and his work. J. Warner Wallace is a speaker all around the world. He has written a number of best-selling books, and perhaps the one he's most well-known for is Cold Case Christianity. He's an adjunct professor at Talbot School of Theology in the apologetics program.

Jim, thanks for joining us.

J. Warner Wallace: I'm glad to be ... But, you know, of course, the one I want to be most well-known for is the one that we just wrote together. So, the next generation will ... We'll talk about that later in the podcast, but I just ... Yeah, of course. I appreciate you having me on.

Sean McDowell: You bet. Well, let me start ... before we get to the book, you have a remarkable conversion story to the Christian faith, going from a staunch atheist to a Christian Apologist. Can you tell us a little bit about that journey?

J. Warner Wallace: That expression seems so trite. Right? So kind of like standard fair, you know, staunch atheist. But I was just not somebody who was raised around any Christians. I just didn't take it ... It didn't dawn on me that it was unusual. I didn't know anybody who was a Christian growing up, and I was 35 before I really even gave it a second look.

And all of the tops I knew ... I mean, most of the tops in my agency ... I was working in a backroom position, we call it, it's an undercover position, it was on a crime impact team. So, I was just watching bank robbers, and different kinds of robbers, and sometimes murder suspects.

We would be the surveillance team they would put on these guys. And so, I was doing that for about two years when my wife said, “You know, our kids are now almost ready to go school, they're like late preschool, and should we start going to church?” I thought ... But you know, we've been together, by this time, probably about 18 years.

And I said to her, I said ... Well, I was surprised, if I'm honest with you. I didn't really see that coming, because we had never ... It had never been an issue for us, and we had never talked about it. But I thought, like my dad, who was a very committed atheist, “If you want to go to church just to develop some skills, or to learn a more world-view ... ”

I mean, my dad is the kind of person who even now, as a non-believer, is fully supportive of anyone in his family who would be anything. I mean, if you were a Buddhist, or a Mormon, or a Christian, he wouldn't care; because, as long as it was teaching you the values that he thought ...

He would far rather live in a world, in a country in which Christianity is the major influence than in a country in which it's not. And I was the same way, so I was willing to go as an atheist, and I would've been happy to go for the next 20 years as an atheist.

But, as I started to listen to what the pastor had to say that first time we were there, you know, the first time I'd ever been in an Evangelical church. I'd been there for like funerals, but that was about it.

And so, I'm sitting there, listening to this pastor, and he's talking about Jesus as though, number one, he really lived. Number two, he was super smart, the smartest man who ever lived; and, he preached a bunch of messages that became the foundation of our western culture.

And I thought, “Is that true?” And I was willing to buy a Bible, really just to read the red-letter teaching of this ancient sage, and that's how I started. You know, I just ... I bought a Bible, a cheap Bible, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it, and ...

But I had a skillset in place, by this time, I was probably the go-to interviewer on our team, maybe the go-to interviewer on the entire department; because I was doing so many jail interviews, because I was working in an undercover position, and a lot of times you would get information from people who were in custody you could use, but that means you're constantly talking to people who were in custody. And you learned a certain skillset.

That forensics statement, analysis skillset is what I acquired at the gospels when I first started reading them, and that was ultimately what intrigued me about Jesus as a historical figure. And what started this investigation that, ultimately ...

You know, you don't get to believe in by simply determining that this is true. You just get to believe that. But ultimately, I did get to believe in, and became a Christian.

Scott Rae: So, Jim, it sounds like ... from what I understand, you sort of defaulted to atheism just because you weren't exposed to a whole lot of other options growing up. Would that be fair to say?

J. Warner Wallace: Well ... It was kind of worse than that. I hate to use that kind of angry atheist term, but if you talk to anybody who knew me at the age of 34, they would tell you that's what I was; because I was so mean-spirited towards the few people I knew who were believers.

My mom is a cultural Catholic, so she's the kind of person who would ... You know, Christmas, Easter, but at the same time, she wanted me to look at it, seriously, even though she didn't take it seriously. And so, I was the kind of person ... I ended up ... I refused to get confirmed as a Catholic.

As a young man, I told her, “This is not true. This is false, this is fairy tale stuff.” So early on, I had enough exposure to Christianity through her, or to at least Catholicism, through her, that I was ... had no interest in it.

I had lots of folks growing up who ... Like I had a professor, a teacher in high school who was Baha'i, and so he gave me ... And I used to love to read the wisdom of the Baha'ullah, and it's very, very ... It's like fortune-cookie-kind of spirituality. Right?

But I mean, these are things you can certainly quote, and put on cards. You know? And give to your friends. It's stuff that was all true, ancient truths, but I didn't think that he was divine, or that there was anyone divine. There was no divine to ... to be divine. You know?

So I just rejected all of it. But yeah, the vast majority of people I knew were ... Looking back at it, my wife and I really said, “You know what? So and so is a Christian, and so and so is a Christian. I wonder why they never told us, why they never shared that with us.”

But probably, it was because I was antagonistic enough that it was ... they weren't comfortable. So, it was probably my fault that they didn't hear it.

Anyway, so yeah. I had enough exposure that ... I just didn't think it was true. And I didn't think anyone ... By the way, the few Christians I knew who were officers ... And I can think of two right now that were officers, that were either ... guys I respected.

But, they were not prepared to defend what they believed. And so, if I took an investigative approach, the way you might when you're making a case on, “Okay, this is the guy you think is doing bank robberies. Now, I'm going to spend four days of my life, 24/7, sitting on this guy. Why should I sit on him? Give me four reasons why you think he's our guy.”

And then, they'll make this comprehensive case as to why, “Don't worry. It's not a waste of your time. You need to sit on this guy because he's been doing bank robberies. Here's the four reasons why I know that's true.” Clearly, they were short of having a case to file against him, but they were sure this is the guy.

Well, if you asked them, “Give me four reasons why you think the New Testament is true,” well they couldn't make near the comprehensive case they could for the bad guy. So I just felt like ... “You know how to make a case, and if you can't make a case for that, why would I pay attention to it?”

And, that's really where I landed for a long time.

Sean McDowell: Jim, so your wife drags you to church, you go buy a cheap Bible, didn't want to spend that much money to it, and start analyzing. I've seen this Bible, you kept it. Line by line going through it. Can you tell, what kind of questions were you asking of the text? And what surprised you that made you at least second-guess your atheist assumptions?

J. Warner Wallace: Well, right away, as I read through the gospel ... I was surprised that they were going to be ... I'd forgotten, you know, as a kid ... My mom had been ... I'd been there like for Christmas. I would go to the church and her ... well, it was Catholic mass.

But I didn't know, really, what to expect from the Bible, because we didn't own a Bible, and we had no exposure to scripture. So I was very surprised to see how comprehensive the gospel accounts were. Before we get to the letters of Paul, I was encouraged that these appeared to be accounts written by people who want us to believe those things actually occurred; that they either saw them with their own eyes, or that they talked to somebody who saw them with their own eyes.

And that was, for me, encouraging because as I read through the four accounts ... You know, it's clear they differ, and they differ sometimes in places where skeptics would say, “Oh, there you go. There's the problem. These don't line up.” But because I had worked so many eyewitness accounts by this time, sometimes were I've got six, seven, eight eyewitnesses to the same event, you wouldn't believe the depth of variety we get.

Even if it just occurred two hours ago, and now we're interviewing the witnesses. The great thing about interviewing witnesses in real time is when someone says, “Well, there was a guy over there, and he said X,” and the next person says, “Well, there were two guys over there,” kind of like the angel at the tomb. Like, how many angels are at the tomb?

Well, when you're working in real time, if you know the other person only mentioned ... or mentioned two, and this guy's only mentioning one, you're going to flush that out. You're going to say, “Okay, so how many people were standing there? Because I realize you're telling me about the one that spoke to you, but tell me how many guys were standing there?”

And then he'll say, “Well, there were two.” Okay, now I've got it straight, now I can correct this stuff in real time. You can't, though, when you work cold cases, and that's what I had been working over the last, say 15 years.

There are just cases where I don't have access to those witnesses anymore, to ask the follow up questions. And what I end up with is a bunch of supplemental reports from eyewitnesses that have variations in them, that the defense team, I know, is going to ... You know, love that. Right?

But I recognize that ... Unless I'm able to ask the follow up questions, these apparent variations are going to remain. I'm just going to have to deal with it.

Now, why that was helpful for me is when I read through the gospels, I said, “Wow! These have the same ... ” Now, all of this is intuitive. I can't like give you a percentage calculation on this, you know, how many verses, how many statements can vary before you can consider it reliable, or ...

But if you've read through eyewitness accounts repeatedly, you come away with a kind of a sense of how much variation you should expect. And, as I read through the gospels, I was like, “Wow! What bothers me about these is that they vary in a way that seems very authentic to eyewitness accounts.”

And that's what prompted me to apply forensic statement, and I wasn't even going to do that, but when you apply forensic statement analysis, now what you're looking for is deception indicators. You're looking for those things that give away inner feelings.

You're looking at how much people will compress time, or expand time; because if you're doing that, there's always a reason. You're looking at optional words like adverbs and adjectives, because those things show you inner feelings about ... You know, you don't ever need to use an adverb or an adjective, if you are using those things, well, that's for a reason. You know?

And so, those were the kinds of things that I was looking at in the gospels. Number one, to verify certain ancient claims like allegedly Peter is an influence on Mark's Gospel. Why should I trust anything Mark says? He's not an eyewitness. Is he?

Well, Peter is, and people, early in history, said that Peter was the influence of Mark's Gospel, so I just needed to know, is that ... “Do I have the fingerprints of Peter and Mark's Gospel?” So, these are some things I could test early.

Also, looking at, and asking the question, “Are these variations that are to be expected within eyewitness accounts, or are these contradictions that can't be resolved, and therefore, would disqualify the accounts altogether?” That's the kind of stuff I was always looking for.

And so, I'm using forensic statement analysis to try to figure those things out. That's what I did for about six months in the gospels. Like you said, it was pretty much a line-by-line process. What we do is we use colored markers to highlight different issues.

So optional words, they're one color. Pronoun use, another color; deception indicators, another color; suppression of time, another color; expansion of time, another ... So, I'm doing all that just to try to get through, and that's why that one Bible's a mess, but I just hung onto it, because I thought it was fun to have it, to remind myself of what I went through.

Scott Rae: So, Jim, you went through the gospels, the teaching of Jesus, with a fine-tooth comb, like a forensic investigator would. Let's cut to the chase here, and ... What are the two or three things that you discovered that started to turn the tide for you to embrace Christianity, as opposed to atheism?

J. Warner Wallace: Well, okay. I knew that if I tested an eyewitness for a trial, I have four criteria, and these things seemed to pass. So, I could test it with those four criteria. We don't expect people to trust an eyewitness just on their faith, I mean ... We do tell jurors that unless you've got a reason not to trust the eyewitness, and you can test them in these four areas, well then, you should trust them.

I mean, you can say, “Well, I just don't like how he sounds. I don't like how he looks. I don't like his facial expressions.” That's not a reason to distrust them, unless you've got something in these four categories.

Was he really there? Can he prove he was there or not there? Two, is there some form of corroborative evidence that would help you confirm his statements? Three, has he changed his statement over time, or has he been consistent, honest, and accurate? And four, does he posses a bias?

These are the four things we use; and as I tested the gospels, you know, they passed the test in those four criteria. I think really what is most troubling for most skeptics, and for me, too, is this idea that there are supernatural elements.

You know, like if you took out all of the miracles, and all you had were the daily travels and teachings of Jesus, no miracles, would anybody ... anybody seriously question the veracity of those accounts historically, evidentially? I don't think so.

The thing that causes people to go, “This can't be good. This can't be true,” are the supernatural elements. Really, it's the bias against supernaturalism that is at the root of so much ... or at least vocalized skepticism. You know, there's other issues in my life, and in the life of people who don't want to believe this is true ... that play in, as well.

But, for me, if you're going to vocalize some rational objection, it's usually because you just don't believe in anything miraculous. And it's not that Jesus was teaching at the Sea of Galilee, it's that if he does a miracle there, you're going to go, “No, it can't be true.”

Well, I had to re-examine my own bias against the supernatural. That was part of this process for me.

Sean McDowell: Hey, Jim, you said something that surprised me when I first heard your story, about ... You came to the conclusion that this was true before you even understood why Jesus had to die. Could you take me to the next step of actually understanding that committing your life to Christ, and what that looked like in terms of any life change for you, personally?

J. Warner Wallace: Okay, so ... You know, I'm not sure if this a product of where I was, and it's not as though I went to church once, and then I kept continuing ... to church every week, and heard the gospel message repeatedly, it was that I went to church once, and ... We didn't go to church afterwards, you know, not necessarily as often as we probably should have.

But really, that investigation, for me, was about looking at sources. I didn't even know what the ancient texts said, looking at the earliest believers and what they wrote, looking at the earliest non-believers around that period to see what they wrote, and then doing this really comprehensive forensic statement analysis.

Now, all this time, I stayed in the gospels. I stayed in those four accounts, and I get to a point where I told Susie, I said, “You know, I'm convinced that these accounts pass the test at every level, but I don't understand why under this system Jesus ... God would have to come in the form of Jesus and die on a cross.”

In other words, I didn't have any way to connect the theological dots on what salvation was. So, I got to that place where I was talking about, belief that. Belief that this account is reliable, belief that Jesus was who he said he was, and that's where I was short of the goal.

And I tell people, looking back at it, that if you want to move from belief that, to belief in, well, then stop reading the gospels, and stop reading the New Testament for what it says about Jesus, and start reading it for what it says about you.

But that ... I couldn't do that. I mean, I just was not able to do that until I first could jump this hurdle. This wall was between me and the gospel, and once I was able to knock it down, and ... Of course, I say I was able to ... but you know, God does this. Right? He uses these mechanisms, like the evidence from the scripture, to knock down these barriers.

He's calling you. Right? And He was calling me. But I needed to get, I think, more into the letters of Paul to connect those dots back to ... For example, I only did so much in the Book of Acts, I did a lot more in the gospels than in the Book of Acts.

A lot of this time now, I shifted, and then I started looking at what the New Testament said about me and my need for a savior. And by this time I already trusted the New Testament, but I had to go through that six months or so to get there.

And then, I realized, I got ... People will say, “Well, can you remember where you were when the light bulb went on?” Not in terms of belief that. I mean, that was a lot of the process. But in terms of reading through Romans ...

I remember we were in surveillance in the city of Alameda, California, and I was working a guy ... I think he was a residential burglar, and I was not on the eye, I was on their partner, because we have one guy who spent two hours watching that guy at his home, for example, doing nothing, while one of our team members is buried somewhere watching the front door of this guy's house, and the rest of us are all in different cars on the perimeter, so in case he goes mobile, we'll know which direction to go.

So, I ... You might have two hours where the guy is not doing anything, he's just at home doing nothing. So everyone's just sitting there. And I was reading through Romans, and then in the verse Corinthians, and I realized, “Man, this dude is talking about me.” You know?

The light bulb went on, and I realized that I had a real need that was met in the person of Jesus. So, you might have believed that he ... Jesus is going to be the savior, and all the things he said that are true, including the resurrection, and until you know you need a savior, there's just a savior sitting over there.

And at some point I realized that he was it for me. I can't remember where I was when that dawned on me.

Scott Rae: You know, Jim, I'm not sure a lot of people are aware of this, but you were a youth pastor for a number of years. I'm curious, how did your experience as a cold case detective help you be a youth pastor, and what explains your passion for younger adults, students, and for equipping the next generation?

J. Warner Wallace: Well, I know that I was pretty lame the first year that I was a youth pastor, because I ... I kind of forgot my way. By that time, I was probably a Christian ... too soon. I mean, I probably shouldn't have been a youth pastor as young a Christian as I was.

But I was already almost through the Seminary at Golden Gate Baptist Theological, and I remember ... I was reading authors who were youth specialists, who were far more artistic, and I had the background ... Before I became a police officer, I had a bachelor's degree in design, and a master's degree in architecture.

And I really have ... loved working at the arts. I mean, I loved working at design, I was a very visual person. So, that first year, based on who I was reading who were telling me about young people, you know, and I had my own kids, but they were really too young to be in high school, but that he still stayed with me anyway. My own four kids were younger.

And I spent that first year just working in the arts with that youth group. I mean, it was really good, it was a visual experience, it was very experiential, with sights, and sounds, and textures, and ... smells. I mean, I really controlled the environment in the room. In some ways, it was kind of goofy, looking back at it.

But I can tell you this, the graduating seniors that year ... All but one were ... walked away from the faith, or the church, at least, in the first, probably 10 weeks of college, of the university. Most of them were back-

Scott Rae: Ouch.

J. Warner Wallace: ... at Sonoma State, and Berklee. And at the end of that, I thought to myself, “Whatever I'm doing, it's terrible, and it's got to stop.” And so, we shifted everything, because I'd forgotten, pretty much, how I had become a Christian, and relied on kind of the thought at the time that I was reading, and I read a lot of books at the time.

You know, just kind of really lost my way in terms of the evidential approach that I personally took, and I just figured, “That's just me, as a cop.” Right? I mean, “The way you get guys like me in is this way. It's not for everybody, it's just my way in.”

Well, it turned out, as we shifted towards that model that was more of a case-making model, where we just ... Road taking between teaching theology, apologetics, and behavior, and we designed every trip, every curriculum set, every scope of study was in one of those three things.

We saw incredibly results in the lives of young ... To the point where they were voluntarily willing to abandon all of the kinds of camps, and activities that we used to do. We did so many board sports-

Scott Rae: All the fun stuff.

J. Warner Wallace: All the “fun stuff,” well we realized this was the fun stuff. It was missions trips to Berklee, it was missions trips to Salt Lake City, it was missions trips to downtown, to Skid Row, you know, working with ministries that you can kind of learn about social justice from a biblical perspective.

I'm just telling you, it was a shift that all my eyes ... It was stuff I knew all along, but I didn't realize that young people would be so animated by it; and when we saw that, we said, “Oh, wow. This is what we're going to do from now on.” And that's what we did until ...

And my kids were probably 10 and 12, my oldest, so until they were through with ... [inaudible 00:21:47] that group until they were out of high school, so we felt like we did some ... We had maybe five or six years there where we graduated students that we hope now are the kinds of kids who will go out, make a difference in the world.

Sean McDowell: Jim, one of the things that amaze me about you is how may opportunities you have to write books, to travel, to host TV shows, and yet I came with you ... I came to you with the idea for the book so the next generation will know, and you agreed to write it with me.

Now, I know some of that is our relationship, but I also know you have a passion about the next generation. So, why spend a chunk of your life writing this book? Why are you passionate about it? And what do you think makes it unique to parents, youth pastors, and those who care about the next generation?

J. Warner Wallace: Well, a lot of it is, Sean, that you came to me with the idea, because it's somebody else. I'm not sure ... And I always see you as perhaps the best kind of character that I have seen an apologist in reaching young people. I just wanted to be a part of that.

And because we have a connection to Biola, and we love Biola, and we want to also help those youth pastors who end up getting their MA in apologetics, and we kind of think that more should, so we knew that there was a need for the resource.

But you and I both know when you do these trips, and you do a lot of “what” talks. You know, “Here's what is true about this issue from a Biblical perspective. Here's what is true about that issue.” A lot of what is true.

And at the end of that, you always have somebody come up and say, “Okay, I get it. I get it, I should know all this. I do know a lot of this, but here's the problem I'm having. I don't know how to teach this.”

So, I knew there was a need for a “how” book, a how-to book, because there's so many ... All the other books I've written are all “what” books. And this is a how-to book, and I just think that's an important shift that was missing, and I also knew that probably ...

You know, you probably have more young audiences than anyone else in the country as an apologist, and so you were seeing it, I've seen it for years, too, and we both have a set of skills, both as pastors. You've been a Christian educator, we know ... And we're both parents.

I just felt like, “Hey, we could probably have something to say.” For those who are listening, it's not because I was great at all those things, it's because I was terrible at some of those things for seasons. And it's out of the train wrecks of things I know now that we shouldn't do.

That's what pushes you, I think, to write something like this. You feel like, “Hey, somebody needs to warn somebody about all these stupid things I've done.” So, a lot of it is just speaking from our own mistakes in those three areas that I think we can actually help the church now avoid those problems. You know?

Scott Rae: Jim, one of the things I really appreciate about the book is toward the end, one of the chapters about Love Explores, what you talk about ... What I would call just throwing them right in the lines then. Some of the places where you take students to encounter ideas that are contrary to a Christian worldview ...

Lots of people are afraid to do that with students, particularly the high school and college-aged students. What would you say to those who get nervous about exposing students to some of these really out-these, outside-the-box ideas that are contrary to the Christian worldview?

J. Warner Wallace: Yeah, it's so true. Kids aren't afraid. Kids are courageous. Young people are courageous, they want ... Probably because they've been kind of seeing this stuff, and hearing this stuff, and reading this stuff for some time now, and maybe have even expressed it to their parents.

So, as parents, we feel like, “Hey, I'm doing a good job of protecting my kids from these ideas.” But if they haven't told us that they ... “Oh, yeah, you know I read about this online yesterday,” unless it shakes them to the point where they're going to talk to us about it, we may not even know the ideas they've been exposed to.

So if you're going to offer an opportunity to go address these issues face-to-face, I think young people are like, “Yeah, I finally want to get an answer for that, so I'm willing to go, and I'm willing to do ... ” And some of the crazy things ...

I remember the first year we ever took ... We do these theology trips where we create ideas to ... You want to find the mecca of some other spiritual worldview, and we're close enough to Salt Lake City here, in Southern California, that we can get there in 12 hours.

So we've got here just the mecca of Mormonism. Let's go there. If there was something else, if there was some other mecca, we'd have gone there. But this is where it was closest to us, so we decided to go to Salt Lake City.

And this is a great opportunity to share the gospel with people who have a different view of the gospel, and so it's a great refining trip. Well, I can remember that first year a parent came to me, and said, “I am not going to let my child go with you. I don't think it's right for you to go to that group who are very sweet, and they have a view, and why would you go and steal that view from ... Why would you go and try to tell them they're wrong?”

Of course, when you hear that, you think to yourself, “Okay, well, clearly, this person does not think that our view is in any way right, if they think that we shouldn't share ... ” If we have a cure for what's killing people spiritually, you don't see it as a cure? Then, yeah, I get it you're not going to want your kids to go on this. But for the kids were not ...

For the rest of that training period, before we went, I remember that those two kids, they were really twisted by the fact that their parents wouldn't let them go. Now, the next year, those parents, once they saw what we did, and saw the transformation in the other students, well they let their kids go.

And then, about a year ago, I happened to see this mom in a class at Biola. She's now getting her master's degree in apologetics.

Sean McDowell: Wow.

Scott Rae: That's crazy.

J. Warner Wallace: Wow, what a transformation. Right? The mom who said no now gets it, but it's because we did those trips. So, a lot of this is yeah, don't be afraid. Your kids are far more courageous than you are, that's just what young people are. Right? They're courageous, they do crazy things.

And I think that we can use that, that's a quality of young people that we can actually use to our advantage, to leverage it, to do things that are transformational, because those kinds of things we're asking them to do, are the things you will remember the rest of your life; and if you're not courageous enough to start ...

It's that power of yes. I learn it more as I get older, you know, the power of yes. If you don't say yes to certain things, you miss opportunities. The power of just saying yes to those kinds of trips, is really ... it's striking.

Sean McDowell: Jim, you and I have led probably four or five of those trips together, including one to L.A. that our friend, Brett Kunkle, set up for us to interact with Muslims-

J. Warner Wallace: Yes.

Sean McDowell: And the students always rise to the challenge, and just walk away fired up. But I think the model is ... Really one of the chapters in the book is you talk about the difference between teaching and between training.

Teaching is in a classroom, for a set of just skills and truths, but training is when there's a goal out in the front. You saw this in the police force, you see this with athletes. When there is something in the calendar, “I have a fight in six weeks,” a boxer starts training.

So, when you put on a calendar-

J. Warner Wallace: That's right.

Sean McDowell: “We are going to Berkeley. We are going to Salt Lake City,” then kids start training, really owning the truth. So, that's just a wonderful model that you've written, you've talked about ... kind of frames this book.

Thanks for coming on, thanks for talking about it. I certainly want to encourage our audience to pick up a copy of So the Next Generation Will Know. It's really a handbook. I think you nailed it when you said this isn't just kind of a “what” book, truth people need to know.

But, what makes it unique for parents, for pastors, for youth pastors, mentors, grandparents, anyone who cares about the next generation; here's some real practical things that you can do to help them build a worldview. So, I think you're right that it fits kind of a unique niche, so thanks for coming on, your love for the next generation, and for partnering with us at Biola.

J. Warner Wallace: Thanks to both of you. You know, I feel like we're part of larger teams on this. I'm glad to be a small part of it.

Sean McDowell: Thanks for coming on.

This has been an episode of the podcast Think Biblically, conversations on faith and culture. To learn more about us and today's guest, J. Warner Wallace, and find more episodes, go to biola.edu/thinkbiblically. That's biola.edu/thinkbiblically.

If you enjoyed today's conversation, give us a rating on your podcast app and share it with a friend. Thanks for listening, and remember: think biblically about everything.