After only five minutes in the presence of my granddaughter, I’ve already concluded that I don’t have nearly enough ruffles and sequins in my closet. Of course, I recover quickly enough, not being even remotely a ruffles and sequins kind of woman, but that doesn’t stop me from delighting in her girliness and her love affair with the color pink.
Her older brother is fashioned in the express image and likeness of my oldest son, his dad, and I was surprised one day to hear myself saying to him something I don’t think even occurred to me to say to his dad: “I’m so glad God made you a little boy!” This has nothing to do with gender stereotypes or cliched cultural straight jackets, but everything to do with the glorious truth that if God made someone to be a little brown-eyed boy in Mid-Coast Maine, it’s jolly well because he intended for him to be a little brown-eyed boy in Mid-Coast Maine.
I pray differently (and perhaps more ferociously) for the Morin grandchildren than I ever did for my four sons, because it feels to me as if there is more at risk for those growing up in 2021. It does seem as if Rebecca McLaughlin’s book for teens and young adults couldn’t have come at a better time. 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity reframes the content of her excellent adult non-fiction Confronting Christianity. (Named Book of the Year 2020 by CT and reviewed by me here.) She tackles the major questions confronting this generation, for myths and misconceptions about Christianity (and, therefore, reality itself!) abound in our world.
Kids and teens have complex questions, and parents who feel ill-equipped to address them will find in McLaughlin’s work a resoundingly confident voice who dares to be both clear and orthodox about Christianity’s deepest beliefs. Organized around ten questions, the book provides a solid foundation for great conversations between parents and kids–particularly if they commit to reading the book together. What a relief to discover that it is not our calling as Christians to arrive at a perfectly curated set of pat answers, and, thereafter, never to ask again!
Kids and teens have complex questions, and parents who feel ill-equipped to address them will find in @RebeccMcLaugh ‘s work a resoundingly confident voice who dares to be both clear and orthodox about Christianity’s deepest beliefs.Tweet
Does Your Teen Know…?
One solid conclusion from each chapter (and it was hard to choose just one!) provides a helpful overview, and also some substantial food for thought on today’s mental menu (Kindle locations cited):
- “Jesus never promised us an easy life now… But following Jesus and living as the Bible calls us to live turns out to be really good for us–even here and now” (473),”
- “Christianity isn’t against racial and cultural diversity. It’s the most racially and culturally diverse movement in all of history” (637).
- “Saying all religions are equal paths to God sounds respectful, but it actually isn’t, because it doesn’t take the truth claims of any religion seriously” (775).
- “If there is no God who created the universe, there is no universal right and wrong. We can all just have different opinions. But if there is a Creator God, he has the right to tell us what to do” (996).
- “Some of the smartest people in the world–including people who know all about modern science–believe that the Bible is true” (1179).
- “Science can tell us many amazing and important things, but it can’t tell us the most important things about who we are and why we matter” (1392).
- “Jesus’s love is the greatest love there is. It’s worth giving up any other relationship for him” (1682).
- “Christianity is not against women. There have always been more Christian women than men. In fact, Christianity is the greatest movement of and for women in all of history” (1954).
- “There are times when God intends for us to suffer, not because he doesn’t love us but because he does” (1983).
- “When we come to Jesus, we find out two things: (1) we are more sinful than we ever thought, and (2) we are more loved than we ever dreamed” (2229).
We can’t just assume that our teens and children (even the ones who have grown up in a pew!) are ready to engage in hard conversations or to respond to big questions on these topics. As parents, let’s initiate a few dangerous conversations around the dining room table. Allowing our own minds to be challenged is the first step!
Holding you in the light,
Don’t assume that teens or children (even those who have grown up in a pew) are ready to engage in hard conversations or to respond to big questions about faith. As parents, let’s initiate a few dangerous conversations. Allowing our own minds to be challenged is the first step!Tweet
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