Book Review: Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side
“Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations To Help Them Build A Lasting Faith” by Natasha Crain (Harvest house Publishers, 2016) is a book I’ve been highly anticipating for the past year.
Natasha is a wife and mother who left her corporate job to make a difference in the lives of families. Her new book (available March 1, 2016) is a great step in doing just that.
I’m a father and grandfather and have worked with children and youth ministries for almost 45 years. I’ve seen a lot of Christian books written for parents to help their children. Many are okay, but few are outstanding. Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side is definitely one of the few. It is an outstanding guide for parents and comes at a key moment in history when Christian families are under some of the most intense attacks the world has seen for a long time.
I was raised by Christian parents and spent my childhood and early teen years in church, but was led toward atheism by many of the challenges Natasha Crain has listed in her book.
Natasha has organized Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side in a way that parents can get answers to tough questions quickly. She addresses five categories of conversations: Conversations About God, Conversations About Truth and Worldviews, Conversations About Jesus, Conversations About the Bible, and Conversations About Science. Each category has eight chapters with several pages per chapter; plenty of information to help parents answer their children’s questions without being too much to absorb and use. Here’s an example of one of the categories:
Part 1: Conversations About God
Chapter 1. What evidence is there for God’s existence?
Chapter 2. How could a good God allow evil and suffering?
Chapter 3. why would God command the genocide of the Canaanites?
Chapter 4. How can a loving God send people to hell?
Chapter 5. How can God judge people who have never even heard about Jesus?
Chapter 6. Why would God need people to worship Him?
Chapter 7. Why is God so hidden?
Chapter 8. Is faith in God the opposite of reason?
Do any of these questions sound familiar? If you are a parent or work with children and youth, I’m sure you’ve heard them. You’ll find that to be the case with all five categories. They address some of the toughest questions our kids will ask. Giving them great answers can make a big difference as they make the Christian faith their own.
I highly recommend Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side for every Christian parent, grandparent, pastor, church leader, and adult who works with children and teens.
Part 1: Conversations About God (8 chapters)
Part 2: Conversations About Truth and Worldviews (8 chapters)
Part 3: Conversations About Jesus (8 chapters)
Part 4: Conversations About the Bible (8 chapters)
Part 5: Conversations About Science (8 chapters)
10 Tips for Having Deeper Faith Conversations with Your Kids
“I consider Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side to be an important, eye-opening ‘gateway’ book. Natasha has done a wonderful job of quickly introducing the important issues and evidences from the perspective of a parent. She’s engaging, thoughtful, and she knows how to throw the ball so you can catch it. Let Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side serve as an introduction to the most important work you will ever do as a parent.” J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold-Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene international speaker, professor at Biola University
“I almost wish my children were young again so I could use Natasha Crain’s book with them. Through her parenting blog, Crain has access to the most important questions and challenges parents are hearing from their children today. She writes in strong, vigorous prose and does a great job of pitching her answers at a level that parents can understand—and, even more importantly, that they can use.” Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth and Finding Truth apologetics professor, Houston Baptist University
“Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side is a timely and much-needed book. Natasha provides a road map so parents feel equipped to have the critical (and difficult) faith conver- sations with their kids. If you want to see your kids have a vibrant faith, then get this book and start having these conversations with your kids today!” Sean McDowell, author of more than 15 books, including A New Kind of Apologist international speaker, professor at Biola University
“Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side is an outstanding resource every Christian parent should have in their home library…this book is the most accessible, non-intimidat- ing treatment of key apologetics issues I’ve seen to date, and I will be recommending it to every parent I encounter!” Melissa Cain Travis, Assistant Professor of Apologetics, Houston Baptist University author of Young Defenders series of apologetics books for kids
“Parents, wake up. The secular culture is challenging our kids like never before and we’ve got to prepare them for the barrage of false ideas they will most certainly face. Apologetic conversations are no longer optional; they’re a necessary part of our kids’ discipleship. Thankfully, Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side is the resource we all need. It’s accessible and comprehensive, and it will equip you to engage your kids in con- versations that count, big time.” Brett Kunkle, Student Impact Director Stand to Reason
“Many well-intentioned, godly parents unknowingly send their children out into the world malnourished by an insufficient diet of evidence for their faith…We know. Ratio Christi sees it every day in our chapters on high school and college campuses. Students come to us starving for ways to defend their faith from intellectual assault. As the director of parent outreach at Ratio Christi, I’ve been looking for a tool to recommend to parents so they can start this training early at home. This is it. Start feeding your family a steady diet of Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side to strengthen their hearts and minds for the battles against the secular smorgasbord they will face.” Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
“As a youth pastor, I’m thrilled to see an apologetics book written with parents in mind! It is not a matter of if your children or students will encounter arguments against Christianity, but when. Questions will come, and when they do, where will your kids find answers? The Internet? Their college professors? Atheist friends? We need to take responsibility to equip ourselves to be that resource…this book will help you do just that!” Patrick Brown, Student Ministries Director Whitehaven Road Baptist Church
“As a pastor over family ministries, I am very excited about this book! It answers many of the strong objections against Christianity in amazing depth, yet in such a clear manner that even someone new to apologetics can easily understand it.” Jared Novak, Family Pastor New Life Church Bonita Springs
“I strongly recommend Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side for parents who need brief but trustworthy answers to the skeptical objections their kids are likely to encoun- ter…It is rare that so much solid information is found in one accessible resource!” Douglas Beaumont, Professor of Theology, Belmont Abbey College
“Aside from the Bible, Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side has just become the most important book in our house. Natasha walks you through all the ‘tough’ questions in such a way that it makes conversations with your kids easy…To be honest, this book has helped me with things I’ve wrestled with myself! I will be buying a copy for every parent I know and care about.” Mirinda, mom of 3
Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side: 40 Conversations To Help Them Build A Lasting Faith, Harvest House Publishers, 2016, 269 pages