Bible Answers for Parents of Curious Kids: 101 Kid-Friendly Q&AsEd StraussBarbour Publishing / 2018 / Trade Paperback$1.99 Retail:2 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
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Book Reviewer Maman2 Stars Out Of 5Study the Bible Before Using This as Your Go-To Answer BookApril 3, 2018Book Reviewer MamanQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 1I was really looking forward to digging into this book when I came across the title. I mean, what parent doesn't like to have extra resources on hand when it comes to trying to answer challenging biblical questions? Unfortunately, this was not the book I was looking for.
This book is geared for parents of children from 5 to 8 years old, so therefore the explanations are simplified, in some cases oversimplified.
I'm not overly keen on the oversimplified explanations given to some questions, such as Who is God? I almost feel like this is more suitable for my preschooler with some of the explanations given.
I have concerns about some of the answers provided. In the explanation of why people hated Jesus, the question isn't really addressed. The summary of the answer given is that the religious leaders were pretty mixed up (because Jesus didn't keep the Sabbath). I think the answer is missing the mark. Nothing was said about the sin nature of man or that darkness and light don't mix, that they didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah fulfilling the prophecies, that they were afraid of him, or anything along those lines.
In the answer about why Jesus had to die, there is a prayer given for a child to say in order to become saved. It's a nice prayer but again, it misses the mark of what salvation is (a turning away from sin/repentance) it's a starting point but there's a lot more to salvation than just praying a pray. I'm also really wary of the answer given of why Jesus had to die. In the second paragraph the answer is that "Jesus had to die because He was the Lamb of God". Well, sure that's part of it but there's so much more than that. Again, nothing is said about repentance - there is mention of sin, forgiveness, and hell.
As well, I'm not sure that I would read verbatim the answers to my children as some of the wording would make my children feel insignificant (i.e. pg. 10 "You can't possibly understand Someone who knows absolutely everything.") I would be changing the wording to "we" or "Mommy and Daddy too" to help illustrate the fact that NO ONE is as smart or knows as much as God does, not just my child(ren).
Some of the questions covered are: who is God? Did God have a Mom and Dad? What does God look like? Why do some people say there is no God? These are questions I haven't been asked from my own children or children I've taught in Sunday School but it's an interesting list to consider as possible questions kids might ask someday.
Some of the answers feel stretched to me as there are verses that could be used to better illustrate the answer (i.e. the answer to what God looks like), but again, I think this is due to trying to simplify the answers so a 5-8 year old would understand the explanation.
As well, there are assumptions made, I think in an effort to be appealing to kids, that there are no biblical foundations for making (i.e. like kids will get to watch movies of all the adventures of Bible heroes when they get to heaven and they won't have to sit in school learning boring things; that their pet will be in heaven). The book also touches on beliefs of other religions (purgatory/Catholicism) but I think the explanations of those religions go further in depth than what our biblical response should be to the question posed.
Various Bible translations are used (New Living, Good News, NIV, ICB, NKJV) within the answer section.
There are some explanations that are well written and have quite a few verses to back it up. I think this is really the key when trying to answer questions - having a lot of Scripture to explain why things are the way they are. A key verse list or additional verses to review together would be helpful to have when answering the question together.
Each question is answered and followed by a set of questions to kick start a discussion with your own children that I can see would be beneficial to helping the child along in their comprehension.
This book has a great premise for providing parents with a handbook of sorts to go to in answering their children's questions about God/the Bible however, I feel that it lacks depth in many answers and falls short of the mark of what all of Scripture has to say in responding to possible questions posed by children.
Unfortunately I think some of the answers underestimate the cognitive abilities of the age group these question/answers are trying to address; and as well too many assumptions are made that cannot be proven biblically but have a nice sound to them or give warm fuzzies. I would caution parents to study the answers for themselves using Scripture, BEFORE using this as their first go-to book.
I received an ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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