The term “apologetics” often evokes thoughts of high academia: scholars in tweed jackets strolling through the Gothic archways of a university campus, or experts with slightly unkempt hair debating from opposite podiums. On a more personal level, it can call to mind books that have shaped us, or expositions of Scripture that have guided us to the light of truth when suffering and doubt have overwhelmed us. In either case, the field of apologetics has traditionally ensconced itself in the realm of adulthood, where trials abound, questions linger, and the need for God’s life-giving Word is especially dire.
And yet, our kids need apologetics, too. In an age when the fundamentals of Christianity are publicly condemned, children face challenges to their faith early and often. The COVID pandemic may have stirred up concerns about God’s love and goodness and His work in suffering. Discordances between gender ideology and the Bible can churn up worries about the validity of faith. Such questions can trouble young minds and hearts, and warrant compassionate, serious, and thoughtful answers to guide them back toward their assurance in Christ.
In such moments, I’m deeply grateful for apologetics books that belong not on the highest, austere shelves in our home, but rather in the storybook bins our kids love to peruse. For the youngest inquirers, we’ve enjoyed Frog’s Rainy Day Story and Other Fables , a delightfully-illustrated picture book that follows a cast of animal characters through a series of antics. Each brief story contrasts the “wisdom of the world” with “wisdom of the Word,” highlighting the biblical worldview. Full of humor and whimsy, this is a fun, engaging book with surprisingly thought-provoking lessons.
For older kids — middle grade elementary and up — J. Warner Wallace’s Cold Case Christianity for Kids series is a rich and thoughtful resource, equipping kids to engage with rather than shy away from hard questions using investigative techniques (the author is a detective!). Don’t let the cartoonish covers deceive you — the content in these books is thorough and insightful. While some books dumb down content or add silly material to draw a child’s attention, this series treats kids and their questions with respect, offering an in-depth approach to apologetics in a format that remains clear and engaging for young readers.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37). As we disciple our kids to know and love Christ, I’m grateful for resources that encourage them to engage with questions — to seek to know and love God with their minds — for their discipleship and for God’s glory.