If your 8-to-12-year-old has lots of questions about the Bible - especially about how it pertains to his or her everyday life - What Does the Bible Say About That? by Carolyn Larsen is a must have.
This well organized book begins like this:
"News flash! Learning to live for God doesn't happen overnight. Nope, it's a journey. Think about it - when you start out on a long road trip, more than likely your mom or dad has the trip mapped out. Well, your Christian life journey is mapped out, too - in the Bible. This amazing book is not just a bunch of 'do this and don't do that' lists. It's the history of God's love for you and how his Spirit living in you will guide, protect, love, forgive, and love you again."Larsen also explains that we all fail, but that God is full of grace so we can begin again, fresh. She says, "What Does the Bible Say About That? will help you understand how God's love and grace is part of your everyday life."
By either checking the index or the detailed table of contents - or simply by paging through the book, which has topics arranged alphabetically - your children can learn what the Bible says on a wide range of topics, including ambition, angels, anger, cheating, clothes, divorce, diaries, dancing, the environment, fortune telling, fear, free time, Heaven, Hell, history, humility, judging others, math, money, music, natural disasters, the opposite sex, pain, prayer, quitting, rebellion, rest, sadness, sarcasm, self control, sex, smoking, texting, the trinity, unborn children, worship, and more - over 300 topics in all.
"Texting?" you may ask. "Smoking? Does the Bible really discuss these things?" Sort of, the author tells us. She says texting is impersonal, but God puts great importance on personal relationships. Texting is fun and fine, but we mustn't forget to speak face-to-face with each other and showing how we care for each other. And smoking isn't a good thing because God wants us to care for the body he give us.
When discussing "hot" topics like sex and drugs, the author is biblically accurate. She tells readers sex is designed for a husband and wife and that our society has cheapened sex. Dating should be kept pure; don't experiment with sexual activity. She says drinking alcohol impairs your judgment and isn't good for your body. She says God wants us to take good care of our bodies; that means eating well (not too little and not strange diet foods)...You get the idea.
Each topic also includes a "Today I Will..." section encouraging kids to apply what they've learned. Throughout, newspaper cartoon style illustrations with captions by Rick Incrocci add interest.
What I Like: What an excellent guide for both kids and parents! Even if you aren't ready to allow your child to freely peruse a book that discusses sex and drugs, keep this on your shelf to help you guide your child through difficult issues. It's a great read together, devotional-style book that you can trust to be biblically sound. It's not exhaustive, but succinct and to the point.
What I Dislike: Nothing. However, even though the author offers Bible verses for each topic, it would be nice if she gave additional passages to look up.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: 8 - 12.
Publisher Info: Crossway, 2009; ISBN: 1433502135; paperback; $15.99
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