From our Inbox: A Parent’s Question
I was raised in a context that very much fits what one would think about when they think, "religious right, Bible belt" resident. I am now a pastor in NYC and raising 3 (God-willing) godly and (therefore) thoughtful young men, while also leading a church that is slowly growing with more and more children in whose growth and preparation for the world in which they will one day interact I take very seriously.
My sons continue to get great influence from their grandparents and extended family who still live in the south and probably are afraid that they are getting deceived and brainwashed by 'bad' science that comes under the rubric of 'evolution.'
The 'Intelligent Design' camp has done an amazing job at communicating with children to make their case. I am wondering if you could direct me to any resources that would speak at a child's level (or young teenager's level) about evolution. Or, help them not necessarily to defend evolution, but rather to understand and communicate that there is a difference between natural evolution or atheistic evolution and evolution creationism. In that goal, perhaps there are resources that explain evolution from a perspective that protects God's sovereignty as Creator de novo and continuing sustainer and the authority and trustworthiness of God's Word.
Any help would be great.
Thanks - J.S.
Thank you for your recent email. I've gathered together some helpful materials that will be useful for your conversations. Other resources are currently in development that will eventually be helpful for parents and churches who are trying to meaningfully engage young people on these issues. Our goal is to add new materials once they become available to our Small Group Resources page.
Here's a listing of some materials worth looking into:
1. An article by a parent, Praveen Sethupathy, discusses conversing with our children about creation and evolution. He shares a conversation he had with his 6-year son.
2. An article on our site discusses the difference we see between evolution as a biological process and evolutionism as an atheistic worldview.
3. FaithAlive publishers have two resources: Discover Creation & Science (for 8th graders) and Fossils & Faith (for high school). Both are 4 unit studies and are excellent resources for discussing the creation/evolution debate but are produced mainly for use by groups like Sundayschool classes. These materials do a good job at presenting that there are various ways Christians understand scientific claims in light of biblical claims, and though we may disagree about some of these issues, we can remain united in our faith in Christ.
4. An article by a biology teacher in a Christian school.
5. Also, there is a group in Hawaii that is in the process of producing excellent materials for high schoolers which include videos and leader’s guides to go along with them. Two or three videos have been completed and are available on their website.
6. Finally, there is a book titled "Dinosaurs: Exploring the Scientific Mysteries of God's Creation" that would be worthwhile for younger children to read. This book answers their questions about how dinosaurs lived and how they fit into God's great creation.
I pray this these resources are helpful as you talk to your children.
Chris Stump, Content Development Coordinator