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.
The concept of mummies is one all of us are familiar with. Whether young or old, you’ve probably experienced a phase of interest in mummies spurred on by history study or a trip to the museum. At the very least, you’ve likely developed an opinion about whether mummies are intriguing or disgusting or both. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that typically, when we hear the word “mummy,” most of us think of Egypt, tombs, cloth wrappings, and bodies preserved with great care and skill. But have you ever heard of the practice of self-mummification?
I saw Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs on the supermarket shelf this week, and it can mean only one thing: Easter approaches! Granted, its approach is heralded really early this year, but it’s never too early to discuss the resurrection of Jesus with our kids. Fortunately, the “Minimal Facts” approach is a fantastic starting point for addressing objections to the resurrection, and it can be easily adapted for explaining to kiddos.
These days, after/near-death experience stories are quite in vogue. It’s no small wonder since we will all (one way or another) die, and the questions we ask about what comes next have been asked for centuries. In the first grade Sunday school class that I help teach, many of the children’s questions revolve around what Heaven will be like. “Will we have wings?” “Unicorns will be THERE, right?!”
At a recent event, a woman visited the Picture Book Apologetics table and shared that explaining Heaven rightly to children is something she finds very important. We agree. There is so much junk, so many misconceptions, and so many unsubstantiated opinions about Heaven that diminish the promised glory of it all. Fortunately, I sat in on a class taught by Dr. Clay Jones in which he explored the biblical picture of what Heaven will be like. Below are insights gained from his lectures in a way that parents may find helpful for explaining how the Bible describes Heaven to their kids and combating some of the false ideas that the world offers. We will briefly look at the Bible passages that shed light on what OUR BODIES will be like on the New Earth.
We didn’t set out to review books written solely by authors from the MA Apologetics program at Biola University, yet once again we find ourselves with just such a book: Resurrection iWitness. Doug Powell, author of the Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics wrote and designed this intriguing, interactive book.
I picked up Resurrection iWitness because it was described as “similar to the Ologies series” and hoped to find that it would be likewise appropriate for the 8 and up audience. After review, 12 and up (the suggested age for Powell’s similar creation, Jesus iWitness) seems more appropriate.
The book is structured around the minimal facts approach to the resurrection, which is an idea pioneered by Dr Gary Habermas and Dr Mike Licona. In short, the minimal facts approach requires that any explanation of the resurrection story must satisfy, at the bare minimum, six widely agreed upon facts: Jesus was crucified, Jesus died, Jesus was buried in a tomb, friends claimed to have seen Jesus, and enemies claimed to have seen Jesus. Though the book is only 32 pages long, Powell presents a comprehensive treatment of the material, and effectively addresses common objections to the resurrection account using the minimal facts approach. The swoon and stolen body theories are two of the seven alternate theories explored.
- Sturdy, hardcover design. Upon receiving the book I was impressed by the hefty size (9.8 x 12 x 0.9 inches).
- Fold out maps, flip up charts and various flaps provide engaging tactile interaction with the material. I suspect that these would not hold up well to energetic use by eager children, but for the 12 and up crowd, they seem sufficiently rugged.
- The typeface choices employed throughout sometimes sacrifice legibility for style, however, all of the content is readable.
- The images used range from paintings by Rembrandt to stock photography (a diverse spread, indeed), but overall the “feel” of the book is cohesive.
I would recommend this book for 12 and up, (possibly even high school age and older) due to the use of some complex terms and reasoning that may be difficult for a younger audience to understand on their own. Overall, the writing style is to the point and pleasantly conversational. Resurrection iWitness would make a wonderful family reading time resource where each page could be used to foster conversation about the evidence, and where adults could immediately clarify difficult concepts for young ones.
Pick up a copy here: Resurrection iWitness written and designed by Doug Powell