One evening not so long ago, Alex Early’s young son looked at him with inquisitive eyes and asked, “Dad, what’s a theologian?”
The Seattle pastor provided a kid-friendly answer -- “It’s someone who thinks about God” -- and then began writing down a list of Q&As for his children, addressing the most important doctrines in Scripture. Pretty soon, though, Early realized that his list of theological questions and answers, written in a format children could understand, could benefit other parents.
Fast forward a few years, and Early’s manuscript is now a B&H Kids book, Thinking About God, that teaches kids the basic doctrines of the Bible in easy-to-understand language. The 12-chapter book includes such questions as: Why does God allow sin? What was Jesus like as a kid? How are humans made in the image of God?
Early, the lead pastor of Redemption Church in Seattle, told Christian Headlines he wants the book to give children a “warm welcome to the world of theology and apologetics.”
“You can do that as a ten-year-old, Early said. “You don't have to wait until you’re an adult.”
It is essential, Early added, for children within the church to know theology as the world grows more secular. The book demonstrates the “intellectual credibility of what we have as Christians,” he said.
“In an increasingly secularized society, Christians often feel as though, ‘Is what I believe credible?’ The reality is, yes, the Gospel holds weight. And so I would hope that our kids get the Gospel story in them and understand the essentials of the faith. And when they go into middle school, high school, and their first year of college, the first philosophy prof doesn't just blow them out of the water with a new idea.”
The book is written from a Protestant perspective and doesn’t take a position on questions that divide denominations, such as baptism. Early hopes parents will read it to their children.
“I would encourage parents to be more involved in the spiritual formation, the discipleship, the theological development of your kids,” he said. “This is your opportunity to sit down and have a guide for you.”
Photo Courtesy: ©B&H Books, used with permission.
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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