I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since we started blogging and producing books for Picture Book Apologetics! That’s crazy talk, since it feels like it can’t have been more than a year? Then again, in those 4 years, we’ve made 70 blog posts, started up Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, and produced 5 children’s books (9 if you count the translated versions, and 11 if you count the 2 that will drop before the end of this year!). Not to mention the 2 children that have joined our family during that time. I suppose it really HAS been 4 years.
This summer, our church’s Sunday School program pulled together a curriculum for the K-5th grade students. They focused on God and science. Biologists, mathematicians, astronomers, nurses, and chemists from our church congregation presented lessons to the children each Sunday morning, accompanied by group experiments, worship songs, and more. The kids came alive with each presentation and excitedly discussed God and science in one breath. We could all see that something uniquely important had taken place this summer. God and science aren’t two opposed “things” to these children; they go hand in hand. It was a beautiful effort on the part of our teachers and members, and is one of the many reasons we’re thankful to presently be part of this church body.
Last week, I wrote about Natasha Crain’s forthcoming book, and as I composed that post, I asked one of my sons what they would say if a skeptic asked “How do you know God exists?”
He replied, “Let’s start with this, God made everything, right? But if people said He didn’t, it couldn’t just exist by itself! Only God can make everything by saying a word… and because He’s doing many miracles. (pause) And the Bible.”
At the time, I made a mental note of those points, in the hope that we could circle back and address them at a future date. Providentially, my son brought that conversation up today and rather confidently reasserted that a person who doesn’t believe God exists should just read the Bible.
Have you asked your kids “How do you know God exists?” lately? I’m not sure I’m brave enough to ask mine and share their answers here. I like to think my husband and I do a pretty good job of helping them think carefully about God… but we all know how kids have a way of humbling us. Often publicly. However, in the interest of encouraging you to continue/start talking with your kids about God, I’ll ask one of them and share their answer. Here we go.
There are some questions about the Christian faith that you’ve undoubtedly heard, wondered, and/or been asked. When the questions arose, it’s very likely that you either already had an answer, didn’t have an answer but felt confident you could find one, or were straight up stumped. All of us have been stumped at one time or another (or more frequently than that for some of us!) but it’s our response to being stumped that’s important. We either let our puzzlement fester into doubt or seek out an answer from respected sources. I hope you’ll always choose the latter!
Friends, we recently finished reading Why Does God Allow Evil? by Dr. Clay Jones. It’s the fantastic culminating work of decades of teaching and research. Buy it. Read it. The end.
Is Jesus a myth? No. But that certainly doesn’t deter some people from claiming that he is. Thankfully, many theologians and apologists have responded to this assertion well. We’ve rounded up some great responses and videos that throttle and trash the claim that Jesus is not what Christians believe him to be.
Recently there was an officer involved shooting near our home. Two men were wounded, and unfortunately, one of the police officers died. At our son’s school, kids were given the opportunity to write letters and draw pictures to encourage the local police department. When he came home from school and shared what he knew about the incident, our other son launched into a textbook “Why does God allow evil?” interrogation. He was so upset in that moment by the injustice and the loss of life.
Eventually, our conversation led us to God’s justice and our eternal home. I explained that our forever home with God will dwarf our suffering during this life. Neither child could conceptualize where people “are” after they die, or where they’ll be for eternity. They had the vocabulary mostly right, but there was a disconnect between the words and the meaning, and they were obviously confused. So we sat down and drew a diagram to help them “see” what happens when we die.
There’s something that has been weighing on me, as I’m sure it has weighed on some of you. If it hasn’t, please bear with me and try to see where I’m coming from.
Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism.
There. I’ve said the terms in the same sentence and already many of you are probably getting nervous, or upset, or disappointed, or whatever. But like I said, please bear with me. Up front I’d like to say that I’m not advocating for either position in this article, per say, but rather advocating for respectful, honest dialogue, and grace. Naturally, I have an opinion, but that’s not the point of this article, and it’s not something that we want to take a hard line on at Youth Apologetics Network. We see great value in non-inflammatory conversations that avoid using straw man and ad hominem and all of the other unreasonable tactics that are too often used during these age of the earth conversations (so much so that we made a book for families).
This isn’t an article about who is right and who is wrong; it’s about how we interact with each other. It’s about how we raise up the next generation of children to interact with each other.
It’s easy to stay in your bubble. It’s cozy and familiar. Even on the occasion when one belief is causing friction with another, as long as no outside source shines light on the cognitive dissonance, we can keep on keeping on.
But that’s not what we’re called to do. And it’s not really what we’re content with, is it?