Case for a Creator for Kids
A guest post from our friend Joey Espinosa. Follow him at Justice.Kindness.Humility as well as A Different Way for Kids.
I was 18 years old (a Freshman at college) when I seriously began to consider the claims of Christianity. Though I spent my middle and high school years in the south, and went to church sometimes, I always thought the what the Bible said about Jesus was a bunch of stories — some feel-good and some whacko.
An “Introduction to Religion Class” did not give me any answers. Some guys encouraged me to join a Bible study, but after a few sessions, I had no desire to continue reading some creative writing (as I considered the Bible).
But the following summer, I renewed my search for truth merely because a friend asked me, “What do you think about God and Jesus?” When I expressed my doubts about the reality of God, the authenticity of the Bible, and the contrast between God and science (I was studying to be a chemist, after all), my friend was never fazed. He bought me books on these topics, which we read and discussed together.
By the end of the summer, two new relationships began: I put my faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and I developed a love for apologetics.
Now that I am a father, I have heard my three children echo some of the same questions about God and about Jesus. Some of these questions I feel equipped to answer, thanks in part to years of personal study, and thanks especially to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But I am continuing to learn and continuing to face new questions.
In light of these questions, I recently read Lee Strobel’s Case for Creator for Kids, and had one of my children read it as well so that we could discuss it. And if you have a pre-teen child who has questions about God, faith, and science, I would encourage you to read this helpful resource.
Helpful for My Family
I’ve read most of Strobel’s “Case for _______” books, and enjoyed every one. I also read Case for Faith—Student Edition and discussed with two of my children. But this is the first book I read in his “_____ for Kids” sub-category.
The author (or, all three of them) focuses the science discussion to three main categories: cosmology, physics, and biochemistry. I believe that is sufficient. The scientist in me is left unfilled at the incomplete and simple answers, but I have to remember the target audience is pre-teens. Even though it leaves unanswered many questions, this book is a useful tool to help you engage your children in meaningful conversation. That you talk with your child at all about issues of faith is more important that what conclusions you come to.
Helpful for Yours?
I recommend you pick up a copy of Case for a Creator for Kids (or any other of Strobel’s books that fit your family’s situation). First, you read through it and make notes about what you learn and what questions you have. Then, have your child read it.
You can have him or her read through it chapter by chapter and discuss each one, or split it into two parts and have a discussion on each part. I would not recommend you have him or her read the whole book and then discuss. There is too much information, and this strategy will probably not get you to deep thoughts and discussion.
Or you can do a hybrid, like I did. I had my son read the first half, and told him to write down three big ideas that he learned. Then he read (followed by discussion) the last part one or two chapters at a time.
But there is one thing I have learned about studying apologetics, and which I also must remind my children: Evidences and proofs will never be enough for faith, and will never be equal to faith.
Doubt is not the opposite of faith, since faith is a journey marked by moments and seasons of wrestling with God. Don’t expect books like these to convert or convince. Many people witnessed Jesus’ miraculous signs, and many of them refused to believe (John 12:37)
But these books are helpful to support our faith, to help us understand that God and science are not in contradiction, since God created everything under science. The evidences of God as the Creator of the universe help us know that trusting in Him is far from whacko.