Tactics and Tools

Training Students for War

Author Tim Barnett Published on 04/30/2019

We are at war.

It’s not a war of bombs and bayonets. It’s not a war against flesh and blood. In fact, it’s not a physical war at all. It’s a spiritual war.

Because of the spiritual nature of this battle, it’s easy to diminish—or even disregard—its significance. Visible wars seem more pressing than invisible wars because you can physically see the enemy. But according to the New Testament, there is an invisible war going on. And the enemy is just as real.

For this reason, the apostle Paul says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). The devil has “schemes” that we are ordered to “stand against.” Fortunately, we’re not left guessing about his battle strategy. The devil is “the father of lies” (John 8:44), and his plan is to deceive the whole world (Rev. 12:9; cf. 2 Cor. 4:4).

The devil’s primary weapon is deception. He wants us to believe false ideas about God. And the way we fight against false ideas is with true ideas. Simply put, we combat deception with truth. In fact, the first piece of armor Paul tells us to put on is the “belt of truth” (Eph. 6:14).

Paul has more to say about spiritual warfare in his second letter to the church at Corinth. He says,

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3–5)

Using our primary weapon—truth—we are able to destroy bad arguments, false opinions, and wrong thinking.

We are at war. But it’s not a war against individuals; it’s a war against ideas. Sadly, many of our young people are becoming captive to these false ideas.

It’s almost unfathomable to imagine sending young men and women off to fight a physical war without the proper training. Yet, when it comes to spiritual warfare, we do this all the time. The vast majority of our students are not prepared for the spiritual battle that awaits them.

This is where Stand to Reason comes in. We want to help train your students for war. There are two primary ways we do this.

First, we train students. The devil spews false ideas to blind the minds of our students to the truth. A number of these false ideas specifically relate to the Bible. He wants them to believe that the Bible is unreliable, unscientific, and immoral. Furthermore, he would love them to believe the lie that God hasn’t spoken through the prophets and apostles.

Consequently, we devoted an entire reTHINK Apologetics Student Conference to training young people to counter these lies. Furthermore, this coming September we will begin another reTHINK tour training students to combat specific lies about God.

These reTHINK conferences involve two days of intense spiritual training. Each session is designed to respond to a lie from the enemy.

Second, we train trainers.

If the only apologetics training your students get is our reTHINK Apologetics Student Conference, then they are in big trouble.

Now, that’s not a knock against our event. reTHINK is the finest student apologetics conference in the country. And we wish every student would attend. But two days of training is not enough to counter 365 days of the devil’s scheming.

Through daily blog posts, weekly training videos, bimonthly Solid Ground articles, two Stand to Reason downloadable apps, and nearly three hours of podcasts per week, we are going to train you so that you can train your students.

You are the primary apologist in the life of your students. It’s not me, or Greg Koukl, or Alan Shlemon. It’s you.

And as the primary apologist in your students’ lives, it is your responsibility to train them. But remember, you are not alone. We are here for you.