As an apologist, I can think of no greater need today than for parents to learn to defend their faith. Today, parents are on the front lines as defenders and need to learn this because of the world in which their kids are growing up. Several years ago I began to structure my messages toward this group alerting them toward this vital need. Now, Natasha Crain of ChristianMomThoughts.com has provided a book that does the job. (If you are unfamiliar with Natasha Crain’s blog you should become familiar with it now. Ms. Crain has repeatedly hit “home runs” addressing issues that significantly affect the church.) Recently, I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith, by Natasha Crain. I should mention that I have no pony in this race. I’m not an employee of the publishing company, nor am I going to gain anything from this review.
Natasha Crain provides a useful resource for parents they will use for many years. Although Ms. Crain does not hold a degree in apologetics, philosophy, or theology, she demonstrates what someone can do if they want to research a subject. For Ms. Crain, this became a quest when her blog came under attack by atheists who challenged the beliefs she had learned and practiced for most of her life. “Did Jesus ever really exist?” “Can you prove God exists?” “Is the Bible reliable to demonstrate its claims?” These and more questions drove Ms. Crain to read, study, then read and study more. Her book reveals she has mastered the subject matter and she gets high grades for not only learning, but also for communicating. This book is a terrific introduction worthy to be read and studied by anyone who wants an introduction to defending the faith. Parents will especially benefit from this book.
Ms. Crain covers five areas of subject matter: Conversations About God, Conversations About Truth and Worldviews, Conversations About Jesus, Conversations About the Bible, and Conversations About Science. Each part has eight chapters equaling the forty conversations. The subject matter of the book provides a comprehensive introductory study of important topics with which most Christians are unfamiliar. I particularly enjoyed her chapter on “textual criticism.” There she provided not only a definition but how textual criticism supports the Bible’s truth claims about Jesus. She aptly provided evidence that what the New Testament writers wrote then is what we now have. Here she also demonstrates how a “layman” can readily converse with skeptics when they’ve done their homework. She provides succinct explanations in each of the chapters arming the reader with strong responses.
Ms. Crain’s writing style is sharp and clear. There’s no fog here, no wondering what she meant by this or that. Apologetics can leave many who attempt to read it to wonder what they’ve read. Not so, here. She tackles some difficult topics (like textual criticism) and makes it simple to get your mind around. This book will not stump you, nor leave you wondering why you bought it. Instead, this book will inspire you with principal reasons for your faith, equip you to answer skeptics, and provide the resources to engage your children with reasons why Christianity is true.
I welcome this book to give to my children who now have their own children. They will need it to answer the questions their kids will ask when they encounter the arguments against their faith. In fact, as a grandparent I can recommend this to other grandparents who want to have conversations with their grandkids. Whether children have friends who believe differently or they encounter material on the internet, which they inevitably will do they need to know they can ask questions. Parents and grandparents are the ones to engage them in a safe place. Here, they will find the necessary answers in Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side.