Written by a mother/daughter team, Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions provides a biblical look at difficult topics that kids may be grappling with and the scriptural tools parents need to provide direction. Each chapter includes Scripture, stories, and an explanation of how all three relate in addressing the question at hand, as well as discussion suggestions for children in three age ranges: preschool, 5 to 10 years old, and age 11 and up. Some of the questions tackled by co-authors Jessica Thompson and Elyse Fitzpatrick include “Why do people die?” “Who is Satan, and what is hell?” “Why do people get divorced?” “Why do some people sin sexually?” and “Why does God let natural disasters happen?”
“I want my children to know that truth is outside of them; it doesn’t originate with them. It is not subjective or based on thoughts or feelings. There actually is what evangelical Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer used to call ‘true truth,’ a truth that transcends what our feelings or our culture or environment tells us is right and wrong, true or false.”
Thompson and Fitzpatrick focus their answers on truth and hope, presenting Scriptural but age-appropriate answer suggestions for children. In tackling divorce, for example, the authors write that “Jesus does not say divorce is always allowable,” but he does cite specific instances for divorce in the Bible. The authors then acknowledge that Christians differ in their opinions about divorce, with some believing there are never biblical grounds and others offering specific instances for a “righteous” divorce. While their theology may be too conservative for some, most Christian parents will appreciate their straightforward, biblical handling of many decidedly tough issues. To their credit, the authors do a nice job of keeping their theology both non-denominational and broad-based, offering a variety of Christian opinions for each new topic.
Dr. Jennie A. Harrop is a professor at George Fox University, where she teaches writing and Christian apologetics. She has written book reviews for more than a decade for publications that range from major daily newspapers such as the Denver Rocky Mountain News to literary magazines such as Western American Literature and Colorado Review. With a PhD in English from the University of Denver, an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University, and a BA in journalism from Pacific Lutheran University, she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree through George Fox Evangelical Seminary. After several years as a news reporter in the 1980s and 1990s for such newspapers as The Oregonian, the Chicago Tribune, and The Tacoma News Tribune, Dr. Harrop returned to academia to focus on teaching. Since that time, she has taught English and writing courses at five colleges and universities, and she has published a variety of books, essays, book reviews, and short stories, including three children’s books for Oxford University Press and the critical book titled Angling for Repose: Wallace Stegner and the De-Mythologizing of the American West. A fifth-generation Oregonian, she lives in Sherwood with her husband, Karl, and their five children.
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