Friday, April 24, 2009

Review: What Does The Bible Say About That?

What Does The Bible Say About That? by Carolyn Larsen is a helpful resource for parents with children in the pre-teen years.  Written for children ages 8-12, it shares a Biblical viewpoint on 340 topics that are relevant to our family lives today.  Organized alphabetically, it is easy to find the topic you want to discuss with your child.

What Does The Bible Say About That?
is written in a fun, conversational style while still maintaining respect and reverence for God's Word.   It has a colorful paperback cover, with cartoons sprinkled throughout the book.  I've had it sitting on my end table to read, and my 9, 12, and 13 year old daughters have each been drawn to it, picking it up to read whenever they're sitting in my love seat.

Each topic begins with an introductory paragraph about the subject and questions the child may be asking.  Carolyn Larsen then lists 2-3 relevant verses from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version.  Then she helps our children "face facts" and explains exactly what those verses mean when applied to the subject.  And finally, there is a challenge to our children to apply what they've learned in their life that day.

Some of the topics include the very current issues of television, texting, gangs, ecology, drug abuse, the occult and witchcraft.   Other topics are more pertinent to our children and their daily lives:  sibling rivalry, free time, slang, neatness, gossip, kindness, peer pressure, homework, hairstyles and personal hygeine. 

What Does The Bible Say About That?
also tackles more difficult theological questions that people of all ages are asking:  the Trinity, repentance, the Holy Spirit, eternal life, natural disasters, unborn children, the presence of God, death, and loss.

I read through this book and felt that it was truly giving a Biblical viewpoint on the topics.  Even on sensitive and controversial subjects, it does not twist Scripture but is true to God's Word.   Despite that, I do not feel this is a book to hand to your children and walk away.  It will be best utilized together, exploring God's Word and your beliefs as a family unit.  What I like best about this book is that it teaches our children to go to the Bible for answers to their questions!

Since some of the topics are sensitive, I recommend using it as a parent resource to pull out as questions arise, or as a family devotional, skipping topics like dating, boys, and s*x that your 8 or 9 year old may not be ready to discuss yet.  I do not think it should be handed over as a personal devotion book to be read alone, at least not to the 8-10 year old child.  Reading the book together as a family allows for further discussion of questions that your child may have, developing a stronger faith and stronger family relationships.

What Does The Bible Say About That?
is an excellent resource for parents of children who are always asking "why", or for those who just don't seem to care.  This book can help you give them a Biblical answer to their questions and help them develop a Biblical worldview.  As a family devotional, it will provide a solid foundation for their faith, as well as a springboard for further family discussion.

Read about other books from Crossway at the Crossway blog.

Trusting in Him,
April

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