Kids are great with questions. They can ask “Why?” at the end of even the most thought-out response. Many parents are afraid of studying the Bible with their children – mainly because of the questions their kids may ask. Don’t worry though. You don’t have to know all of the answers. It is perfectly acceptable to tell a child the two of you need to do a little research on the subject and find the answer to that great question together.
Of course, your next question to me is “Where do I go for the answers?” Unless you are a very strong Christian who has studied the Bible for years, I would avoid Google and Wikipedia at all costs. For every grounded Christian who writes something there are multiple agnostics, atheists and very confused people who write something that is so far from the Biblical truth as to be scary.
Needless to say, I was interested when I was asked to review the book 100 Tough Questions About God and the Bible by Stephen Miller. I really hoped this book would be a handy guide for parents to use to answer the most common questions children, teens and non-Christians might ask. It would have been great to suggest this as a resource to keep in your library.
I will say, the author has picked the most common questions people probably ask Christians about the Bible. If you are looking for someone to outline all of the possible responses you will get from Christian “scholars”, then this is the book you want. Unfortunately, today many if not most Christian scholars and theologians can best be classified as agnostic and at worst some of them border on atheist. The author does little to differentiate between poor scholarship and solid scholarship. In his mind, evidently all theories have equal validity, even if they discount God’s ability to do miracles or question the reliability of the Bible.
Although the author provides a surprisingly clear and scriptural answer for a few of the questions, for the most part the reader will leave more confused than ever. It felt like Miller used Google a lot to write this book. Some of the “evidence” he quoted is wrong, incomplete or out of date and Miller is particularly wishy-washy when it comes to anything scientific. His research in those areas was very, very weak. He failed to even mention much of the scientific evidence supporting the Biblical accounts and glosses over the entire idea of the Christian scientist, implying it is an oxymoron. A quick view of the dvd Exposed with Ben Stein will convince you there are many brilliant scientists who support the Bible, but have been silenced by others. Miller mainly ignores all of this perfectly valid science in favor of more politically correct viewpoints.
If you want clarity and a more biblical answer, I would suggest purchasing the Archaeological Study Bible or any of the books written by Lee Strobel. These sources will also inform you of the more agnostic viewpoints, but go on to clarify why the Bible is correct. Miller attempts to do the same thing, but does it by stating weakly at the end of many questions something along the line of “most Christians would disagree and say God’s Word is right”. I didn’t get the impression he fell into that camp, although he may and is just trying too hard to be neutral.
If you are looking for a book to prepare you for a debate on Christianity, this book probably has every angle someone could throw at you. If you are a parent wondering what things your child may be taught in a religion class, this book probably covers every option. If you are looking for straightforward biblical answers to your child’s or teen’s difficult questions, I would suggest you consider one of the other resources first.
This book was provided to me for free in exchange for my honest review. It will help some people, but many will finish it more confused than ever.