By Emily Morales

Apologetics Resources Equip Parents for Today’s Ideological Arena

If you have seen the holiday classic, A Christmas Story, then you remember the part where nine-year-old Ralphie, while assisting his dad in setting a “world-record” for the time it takes to change a flat tire, blurts out an expletive the moment he accidentally hurls the lug nuts into the air. While Ralphie’s father struggles to hide his amusement, for his pearl-clutching mother, the solution is simple. Wash Ralphie’s mouth out with Lifebuoy soap, lecture him on the use of profanity, and find the source of the offending word.

Life for parents of school-aged children during the late 30s and early 40s—the time period of the story—was in many ways simple. Parents holding to more conservative values were much more likely to have the support of other parents, schoolteachers, and school administrators. Newly minted expletives, untimely revelations on the birds and the bees, reports of smoking in the boy’s bathroom, or notions of running away to join the circus could usually be addressed by a phone call to another mom, a parent-teacher meeting, and/or the always dreaded “lecture.”

Targeting Innocence

To the dismay of modern parents, our children’s growing-up years are not situated quite so innocently. While Ralphie fantasized about taking out Black Bart’s gang members with his Red-Ryder BB gun, today, children’s imaginations are subject to capture by designs that are much more nefarious. The mesmerizing influences in children’s pockets today are not so easily neutralized. Modern parents find themselves arguing, not so much with the voices of their children, but with the malevolent influencers on social media.

Consider the situation of a parent hearing for the first time, from their pre-pubescent daughter, that she is in fact a male. This announcement may well be followed by a demand for a hasty medical intervention so that she (or, now, “he”) can be her (or, “his”) true authentic self. Unfortunately for the parent, by the time the child “comes out” trans, she has already been indoctrinated by a panoply of influencers who have told her precisely what to say—not only to her parents, but also to the family physician and the mental-health practitioner who will refer her for puberty blockers or some other form of medical intervention.

This can be reeling for a parent. And too often, parents today will not find advocates affirming a biological and biblical view of gender among friends, neighbors, teachers, doctors, or mental health professionals. Worse yet, their own pastors may simply lack adequate resources to mitigate the powerful messaging by social media influencers.

Deflecting the Assault

The best defense for the modern parent is an effective defense strategy, which involves building up an arsenal of resources to have on hand, should such a battle require engagement. There seems to be a quickly growing supply of resources trying to meet this need. Where do parents start? For my own children and students, Salvo magazine has played a big part in outfitting my arsenal. It features the voices of articulate writers who are not afraid to tackle any of the hot-button issues faced by young people today.

My own classroom over the years has seen countless engaging conversations, with many students expressing surprise at times at my pointed and informed responses to their questions. Having answers grounded in well-developed arguments has afforded me responses that are calm and confident, poised and patient. Past classroom discussions focused on LGBTQIA+ issues, abortion, the claims of Darwinism, the biblical view of marriage, and the importance of modesty and virtue. More recently, I’ve been able to use Salvo articles as part of my instructional design plan, developing discussion questions, projects, and assessments from the points emphasized in the articles.

Most significantly, the biblical worldview and apologetics provided in Salvo have prepared me for meaningful one-on-one conversations with my children, their peers, and students. These personal exchanges were often opportunities for encouragement, empathy, prayer, and biblical counsel.

Informed Readiness

While we are far removed from the innocent days of settling an issue with a bar of soap and a talk, parents today can do much to provide guidance to children susceptible to the influences of social media. Storing up authoritative sources for biblical and common-sense commentary on contemporary issues is a great start. ✤


“Dances with Wolves: When ‘Woke’ Predators Invade the Sheep Pen” …Our visiting preacher wasn’t exegeting the meaning of the text or drawing an application from (ex in Greek) it. He was imposing his own predetermined view into (eis in Greek) the passage. That’s called eisegesis. It’s the opposite of exegesis. …

“The Christian Compassion Revolution: One Year After Dobbs” …In the year 1 BC, a Roman soldier named Hilarion wrote a tender and domestic note to his wife…

“Grit and Godliness: Keith McCurdy, Loretta Lynn, & the Value of Struggle” …In her 2016 book Emotional Agility, Susan David shared a string of studies showing that the pursuit of happiness is self-defeating…

“Grateful Eyes: Even the Pagans Saw Complaining as Harmful” …“Don’t be overheard complaining,” said Marcus Aurelius, “Not even to yourself.”…

EMILY MORALES earned a BS in molecular biology and a minor in cognitive psychology from California State University, Fresno, an M.Ed from University of Cincinnati, and a Certificate in Apologetics. She is an instructional designer/content developer for Moody Bible Institute and teaches organic chemistry and physics. A former Darwinian evolutionist, Emily now regards intelligent design arguments as more credible than those of Darwinists for explaining the origin of life.