Archive - February, 2014

Helping Teens Rebut Relativism

Good time this morning on the Bob Dutko show. Great question from Bob on how to train teens to not buy into spiritual relativism. I think one of the big fears that makes church-raised teens fall for this is the fear of being considered a bigot (intolerant, narrow-minded, arrogant). In fact, it’s more humble to come under the authority of what God has revealed. And believing in exclusive, objective truth doesn’t make you intolerant–you can (and should) treat with respect and kindness those with other beliefs. But merely thinking others are wrong doesn’t make you intolerant or arrogant.

Leadership Journal Interview on Preparing Your Teens for College

In an interview for Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal, Daniel Darling (VP of Communications, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) asked me these questions:

1) When we think of “preparing our kids for college” we often think through the actual academic preparation. But do parents think through the spiritual preparation?

2) Seems the church does a good job telling teens about following Christ, but not so well in helping them flesh out what that calling might look like. How can we be better at this?

3) In your experience, what do incoming freshmen seem to lack the most?

4) In your view, what is the single most important thing a parent can do to prepare their kids for college?

5) If you could speak to a high-school freshman, what would you tell them to do in the next four years to prepare themselves for college?

Check out my responses.

Is Your Child Prepared to Major in a STEM Field?

Fascinating post by Lynn O’Shaughnessy on the popularity of STEM majors and the importance of preparation for success in them.  The 2013 report she cites notes the need for students to “understand what takes place in a specific major or occupation.” When they do, the report shows, their ACT scores rise, which implies better preparation for the rigors of college and a greater likelihood of success in a family of majors with a higher than average attrition rate.

Like I explained in Chapter 9 of Preparing Your Teens for Collegewe need to help more HS students understand what’s required for success in the fields they’re considering as possible college majors (not just in STEM). That will decrease the likelihood of their changing majors, increase the four-year graduation rate (currently below 50 percent), and lower their total college tuition.

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Living space per person has doubled over last 40 years

Though the economy has been tough in many ways (e.g., declining work force participation), housing space per person is dramatically on the rise. Mark Perry of AEI writes, “In 2013, the average size of new houses built increased to an all-time high of 2,679 square feet (see blue line in top chart), and the median size new home set a new record of 2,491 square feet (see red line in chart). Over the last 40 years, the average home has increased in size by more than 1,000 square feet.”  (The average is greater than the Continue Reading…

Preparing Teens for College (And Adulthood)

The opening of my article on the Desiring God blog:

Raising teens to be faithful Christian adults has never been easy. Like us, our children enter this world as sinners whose hearts must be transformed by the Holy Spirit. As parents, pastors, teachers, and mentors, we seek to be God’s instruments in this process.

And while we pray and instruct them about the kingdom of God, we also prepare them to live fruitfully in the kingdom of man. The two are not disconnected: Academic, professional, and relational success flow primarily from character and maturity. And as Christians, we know that character and maturity flow most readily from a God-mastered life and soul, from the hearts of men and women who have bowed the knee to Jesus as Lord.

Read the rest.

Related: Promo Video for Preparing Your Teens for College, which is now available for up to 50% off.

50% Off – Preparing Your Teens for College

WTS Bookstore is running a 50% off sale on Preparing Your Teens for College if you buy 3 or more copies (only $8/copy for a 448 page book). Price is good only through March 3. This is way below Amazon and everyone else (including my group discount offer in the right sidebar).

Learn more about the book, watch the short introductory video, or read my guest post on Desiring God’s blog.


Promo Video – Preparing Your Teens for College

I’m grateful for my friend Troy Lamberth who produced this video:


Preparing Your Teens for College is available for up to 50% off through March 3.

Preparing Your Teens for College

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has already helped in some way to spread the word about my new book, Preparing Your Teens for College.  It was the result of over 16 months of fairly intense work. It was a far harder book to write than Thriving at College, but I believe it has a far greater potential for fruitfulness. It’s written to parents, youth pastors, guidance counselors, ministry leaders and anyone else involved in the great work of equipping parents to train their teens to leave home with the faith, character, and maturity to be successful not just in college but in the totality of their lives. Help the parents and you help the students. Thriving at college begins before they get there.

To encourage people to check this book out, we’ve made a number of free resources available.  You can look at the Table of Contents. You can read the Foreword by Tedd Tripp (a seasoned pastor and the best-selling author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart).  You can read a brief overview of the book.  You can find out why I wrote this book. You can read the 16 endorsements (from Jerry Bridges, Josh McDowell, Alistair Begg, Marvin Olasky, Tullian Tchividjian, Gregg Harris, Mark Bauerlein, Jim Daly, Derek Keenan, Kay Wills Wyma, Doug Wilson, Gene Veith, David Dockery, Michael Horton, Gene Veith, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Burk Parsons). You can even read two full chapters for free! More material can be found in the press kit (including how you can request a review copy or an electronic review copy).

Would you be so kind as to consider this book for yourself or for a friend? If you think it looks worthwhile, could you please spread the word to others? Thanks for reading.

Related: Check out the short promo video for the book, the up to 50% off sale (through March 3), or the guest post I wrote about it for the Desiring God blog.

The High School That Will Get You a Job

Fantastic cover story on P-Tech high schools by Rana Foroohar in the latest edition of Time magazine. P-Tech high schools are six-year programs in which graduates earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.  Thanks to industrial partnerships, they also graduate with a guaranteed job paying $40,000 or more (something only one in five 27 year olds, let alone 20 year olds,  have today). Here’s the opening:

Sarah E. Goode is the name of one of the first African-American women ever to be granted a U.S. patent, in 1885, for a foldout bed that converted into a desk–a prescient object that would fit right into a modern-day Ikea catalog. It’s also the name of a new high school on Chicago’s South Side that is redefining what it means to be educated in the 21st century.

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Christians Get Depressed Too

David Murray, author of Christians Get Depressed Too:

This series of films from HeadHeartHand Media presents five Christians with five very different stories of depression and of how God gave them hope and help to recover. Each 35-40 minute episode tells the story of one such Christian. Their reflections are intercut with interview footage from six counselors representing a wide range of Christian knowledge and experience. While the pain of depression is evident, the overall tone is hopeful and practical.

We’re convinced that this holistic and biblical approach to depression will equip churches to minister to depressed Christians with greater understanding, compassion, and effectiveness. The unique combination of narrative and teaching will be a great resource for any individual, family, congregation, or small group, and will serve as a helpful supplement to the book, Christians Get Depressed Too. A new film will be released every couple of weeks and we start this week Continue Reading…

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