Discovering the Truth: Cold-Case Christianity for Kids
A modern myth is that learning and fun are incompatible. Learning is boring, drab, and dull. Entertainment is exciting, stimulating, and captivating. Never—or almost never—the two shall meet, or so the common myth goes. Sadly, this incompatibility between learning and fun is often perpetuated within the church.
What is a Christian parent to do in this environment? How can we help our children see the truth of Christianity in a world that shuns patient reasoning, complexity, and clarity?
J. Warner Wallace recently provided a great resource to help kids see why Christianity is true. A cold-case detective, Wallace created a book, along with his wife Susie Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, that engages a child’s sense of wonder and adventure. It is both entertaining and valuable as a tool for learning the case for Jesus.
I was curious how a child would respond to the book, so I gave it a try with my nine-year-old son, Josh. Here’s a little report, a play-by-play of my experience reading him the book:
I asked Josh if I could read him a book that tells us why Christianity is true. He was immediately interested. He replied by jumping into my lap, and snuggling down as I flipped the book open.
The book traces the story of a group of kids who are trained by a detective to become young cadets. As they investigate the mysterious history of an old skateboard found in a shed, their investigation leads them to ask questions about Jesus and the Bible. Each chapter is a quick read, tracing the story of the two investigations, and full of easily grasped principles for truth-finding such as “don’t be a know it all” (Josh’s favorite), “test your witnesses,” “respect the chain of custody,” and “resist conspiracy theories.”
After reading each chapter, Josh begged me to keep going. We read the entire book in three sittings. Josh said over and over, “This is so interesting.” I asked him, “What is it that you find interesting?” His response, in typical nine-year-old fashion, “everything.”
I heartily recommend this book if you have young children. Not only is it entertaining—a high value in today’s economy—it’s informative. The book provided a very natural opportunity to talk about Jesus and the gospel with my son. It is also re-enforces values we try to instill into our home: the values of learning, truth, and reason.
During the few days I read Cold-Case Christianity for Kids with Josh, I also talked at a much deeper level with my 17-year old son Austin about Divine providence, human freedom, and the eternal decree of God. Two different conversations with two different sons—one full of adventure and fascinating facts about the strength of the case for Jesus, the other carried out at a much deeper level as we together plumbed the mysteries of the faith—both build on a foundation of love for one another and a love for truth.
If you want to train your kids how to think, I encourage you to give them Cold-Case Christianity for Kids. Get them involved on the many online activities Wallace has provided. Upon finishing the book, both Father and son wondered if the gang—Daniel, Hannah, Jason and Detective Jeffries—will be back for future adventures. My son would be interested in reading future books, if there will be any, and I would too!
For more thoughts on how to teach your kids apologetics, see my post here.