Please welcome my new blogger friend Carrie Anderson. She has a unique voice and a heart for God’s Word and I am thrilled to have her share with us today!
Recently my 8-year-old son dropped a bombshell on me. Being a Christian single mom, the spiritual leader of my home, and someone who has come out of a false religion, I take this responsibility God has given me very seriously.
I Want a REAL Bible
One evening before our mid-week service at church, my son and I were browsing in the church bookstore. He informed me that he wanted a real bible. At first, I didn’t understand what he meant.
“You have a real bible”
“No, I want a real Bible. Like yours.”
I explained to him that his children’s Bible was real, but he insisted he get a new Bible. Who am I to argue when a child wants a Bible, right? The volunteer and I showed him several different options. Different sizes, different versions. But he had seen the one he wanted and had his heart set on it.
A compact Bible, small enough to fit in his little hands, hardcover. And NKJV. I tried showing him the NLT and NIV, having him read sections of them, thinking he would see the language and vocabulary was better suited to his reading level and 8-year-old understanding, but he insisted. It was the NKVJ or nothing.
So I bought him the Bible, and off we went to our respective studies.
It was not until after we left and were on our way home that he confided in me why.
Our church has a strong apologetics emphasis (perfect for an apologetics nut like me), and uses an apologetics curriculum within the children’s and youth ministries. (Sweet!) Currently, they are learning about creation, and specifically had been taught that dinosaurs lived on the earth at the same time as humans. And he wasn’t buying it.
The revelation that my 8-year-old son – my buddy, my go-to guy – did not believe in the young earth creation model made my heart sink faster than a pair of cement shoes being thrown in the Hudson. A kick in the gut for a fleeting second to a young earth, creationist parent. But immediately popped this thought into my head:
He wanted a real Bible because he believes that the answers to his questions are in there. He believes this is where you find truth, and he trusts God’s Word. He’s an apologist.
And my heart leapt for joy!
What to Say When Your Kid Asks if Dinosaurs & Humans Lived on the Earth at the Same Time
So he and I talked about his belief. I asked him why he believed the earth was millions of years old, why he doesn’t believe it is possible that God made the earth in only 6 literal days, why he doesn’t believe that dinosaurs and humans co-existed at the same time.
We went over Bible verses that young earth creationists point to as scriptural evidence. And it also forced me to consider my own position, and to find scriptural support for the old earth creation model. Why? I could stop with YEC. I could only present what I believe as being fact. But I prefer to not be dogmatic on issues that are not salvific. I prefer to present him with as much of the picture as possible, allowing room for him to develop his own critical and analytical thinking skills. You can be sure this will be a topic of debate between the two of us for some time, but for now the answer he and I have arrived at is:
It is entirely possible that dinosaurs and humans lived on the earth at the same time, and it is also possible that they did not. We each have to do our own research and bible study on it, and follow the facts. We have to keep an open mind that either position may be wrong. Our salvation comes from Jesus and Jesus alone, and that is the most important thing we need to believe.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR KID ASKS YOU THE HARD QUESTIONS
What do you tell your child when you are asked the tough questions, the ones which seem that God has not seen fit to provide us clear-cut answers for?
No matter which way you lean on this issue or any other that is debated at length within the church, I urge you to not leave it unanswered, undiscussed, within your family. There will come a day when your child will be called upon to provide an answer for the hope that lies within him or her, and they will need the confidence that comes from having been raised in a family that cherishes the word of God. That seeks scriptural answers to the questions thrown at us by the world.
RESOURCES FOR YOU
There are many resources for you all over the internet, in libraries and bookstores. I’ve collected just a few of them here for you to check out, to help you in preparing yourself to give an answer to your kids when they ask. If you have a tough question that you don’t know how to answer, I invite you to leave it here in the comments, or contact me. I might answer it in a future article!
YOUNG EARTH CREATION
OLD EARTH CREATION
Natasha Crain, author of Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith, also hosts a Facebook group for parents – Apologetics for Parents. Be sure to wave hello at me if you join!
Carrie is an Ex-Mormon girl living in a Never-Mormon world, encouraging Christian women to love God with their minds so that they will be the fierce defenders of the faith God has called them to be. She writes at Woman Apologist, reads countless books; and loves bacon, coffee and chocolate. Chat with her on Twitter: @Woman_Apologist