Apologetics is a discipline that has been written about quite extensively. There have been volumes written with special emphasis given to logic, natural theology, historical arguments, and practically any specialized area someone can think of.
However, how one goes about explaining tough apologetic and theological matters to their children is something I have not seen covered. At least, not until I read Natasha Crain’s Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side. Natasha’s new book which released on March 1st, 2016 from Harvest House is laid out in a way that will be especially helpful to parents and also those wanting to know about how to answer general and specific questions about the Christian faith.
Natasha Crain, for those who may be unfamiliar with her work, runs a fantastic blog for parents, Christian Mom Thoughts. A lot of ideas and conversations from her website have fueled this book which is another unique aspect as she uses blog comments and reader emails to give different perspectives on topics.
Whether it is a parent who is just starting to teach their kid about Christianity or a skeptic who claims that Jesus never existed and there is no proof (see Part 3 of the book for Natasha’s very good answers to that ridiculous claim), Natasha isn’t afraid to interact with skeptics and give them a real response that’s grounded in reason and logic.
The book is laid out in a helpful way where people can navigate different topics without reading the book cover to cover; though, I recommend you do as it is an enjoyable read.
One thing that makes the book very easy to read and doesn’t cause the book to come across as a dry, purely intellectual seminary book, is Natasha’s telling of her family’s experiences and how they go about discussing questions with their children. She gives examples of questions her kids have asked and how they have answered. She also talks about the importance of setting aside time during the week to answer your kids’ questions.
The book itself is laid out in five parts, with eight chapters in each part:
- Conversations about God
- Conversations about Truth and Worldview
- Conversations about Jesus
- Conversations about the Bible
- Conversations about Science
Each chapter is about 5-10 pages in length, so if the concepts are new to you as a parent, Natasha provides a really good overview of each chapter topic without making it overly complicated. For example, in the first chapter Natasha writes about the evidence for God and while the arguments are not exhaustive they are rather complete.
I guess that one thing someone could knock about the book is the lack of depth on certain topics but I think that for an introductory work it covers all the topics with meaning. Also, keep in mind, the audience is not for seasoned apologists, it is an introductory book for parents who want to give direction to their kids on Christianity and why we believe it to be true. What’s more, she gives several references in the back of the book where people can read more if they want to know more about the topic.
The reference section in the back of the book is an extremely valuable resource to readers. Many times when I am reading a book that has new concepts I want to know where I can find out more information but the references aren’t there. One strength of Natasha’s book is that she provides the resources and gives parents a lot of addition avenues to explore should they want to look more into any section or chapter.
And for those of you who enjoy science, you will not be subjected to a fundamentalist, superficial treatment of evolution. Rather, you will see fair points made for and against evolution, young earth creationism, and old earth creationism. The research done in section five of the book (conversations about science) is in my opinion, one of the strongest parts of the book.
Natasha’s book is a game changer. Never before has there been a book directed to parents on how they can have meaningful conversations with their children about Christianity. Moreover, the book looks into the evidence for God, the historicity of Jesus, and the origin of the Bible. All three of those topics are so important but spoken about so little in the church. I am glad Natasha has written this book and while the year is still young, it is on top of my list of “Best Reads of 2016”.
I’d encourage all of you, whether you have children or not, to examine this book and look at the overwhelming evidence for the Christian faith.
Grace and Peace