guest post by Melissa Cain Travis *
Whenever I began graduate school in 2009, I was driven by my passion for teaching science and faith topics to adults and college students. My dream was to one day be in a position to educate church leaders on the importance and complexity of a responsible integration of Christianity with the sciences. I never imagined that one of the ministry projects God would call me into would be writing apologetics resources for young children. It was all serendipity, but isn’t that just like God?
Kids ask tough questions, and they aren’t usually satisfied with evasions or simplistic answers. The day my (then) seven-year old asked me how we “know for sure that God is really there,” I was presented with a unique challenge: how to translate my training in Christian apologetics into language that would make sense to my young son and equip him for defending his views when (not if) they are challenged.
We sat together in the living room floor, cleaning up scattered DVDs, and I laid out a scientific and philosophical argument for God’s existence as carefully as I could, using non-confusing vocabulary and lots of hand motions (those of you who have seen me present in public know how much I love hand motions). His reaction was more than I could have hoped for, and I was so thrilled by it that I wrote a blog post about it that very afternoon.
Later that evening, I kept hearing my phone beep with a veritable flood of email notifications. Comments were pouring into my blog, asking me where to find apologetics books for young kids. The trouble was, I already knew there weren’t any.
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Over the next year, I would regularly receive emails with the same request, and I finally started getting a clue. God was showing me how much parents need help explaining to their children why Christianity is a reasonable belief system. Could I help? I didn’t know. But several friends encouraged me repeatedly, and so I sat down at my computer one sunny spring day and began recreating the conversation I’d had with my son in the form of a fiction story.
Long story short, a wonderful, well-respected publisher bought my book, and I am pleased to say that the reception so far has been phenomenal. I unveiled it at an apologetics conference in New Jersey two weeks ago, and my inventory sold out. The best part was hearing a mom who bought the book on the first day of the conference come back the next day and tell me all about her son’s reaction to the story. “I could just see his wheels turning!” she exclaimed. I hope to hear many, many more reports like that!
How Do We Know God is Really There? is the first book in The Young Defenders series, which is targeted at children ages 6 and up. It is currently available through my website, and it will soon be available on iBookstore. For bulk resale orders, you can find information on the publisher’s website, www.apologia.com. You can follow all news on the series at the Facebook page. Book two (2014) will present an answer to the question: How do we know God created life? Stay tuned!
OTHER RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR KIDS:
*Melissa earned the Master of Arts in Science and Religion from Biola University, graduating with Highest Honors. She is certified in Christian Apologetics by Biola, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in general biology from Campbell University. She worked in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research for five years after obtaining her undergraduate degree, and has spent more than a decade studying the science, theology, and philosophy pertaining to the origins debate. Visit her websites: Science, Reason and Faith & Hard-Core Christiany.