I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a PDF copy of Tough Questions About the Bible by Joel R. Beeke in return for my honest opinion.
My children frequently ask me questions about the Bible that surprise me. I’ve heard everything from “Why do we call Jonah a prophet and not a missionary?” (age 3) to “Can you explain the difference between a theophany and a christophany?” (ages 6/7). Anytime we expose our kids to the inspired Word of God, we’re bound to get some thoughtful and interesting questions. Those questions are important, but I don’t always know how to answer them. In fact, I don’t always know what my kids are pondering.
Joel R. Beeke has written a book answering 68 questions about the Bible, sin, Christ, salvation, other religions and more. His answers come from Scripture (and he does an excellent job of including the references). Joel R. Beeke has a Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He also pastors the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has written many books. You can read his full biography at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary if you’d like. (It’s the second one down on the page). If anyone is qualified to write a book for the middle grades covering questions that kids often have about the Bible, it’s Dr. Beeke.
Tough Questions About the Bible by Joel R. Beeke (Christian Focus Publications, 2013) is a wonderfully helpful book for 8-12 year olds. In fact, I think every home should have a copy. We plan to spend several months going over it in during family worship.
The book has questions from actual children divided into 9 sections:
- Tough Questions about the Bible
- Tough Questions about Sin and Sadness
- Tough Questions about God
- Tough Questions about Christ
- Tough Questions about Salvation
- Tough Questions about Doing What’s Right
- Tough Questions about Prayer and Worship
- Tough Questions about other Religions
- Tough Questions about Hope and Eternity
Each question is answered in one to two pages, with Scripture references and quotes. Dr. Beeke also sometimes uses analogies, illustrations and stories from Christian history to explain a point. He uses hard words like ‘propitiation’ and ‘justification’, but takes the time to ensure that children understand what those words mean. It is clear that he is both a scholar with a love of the Bible, and a pastor with a concern for the hearts and souls of his readers.
Questions range from “How do you know that God is real? Prove it!” to “Did Jesus have a wife?”, “What does turn the other cheek mean?”, “Why are there so many different religions? Are there many ways to God?” and “What is hell like?”.
Tough Questions about the Bible is an important resource for Christian families. The answers are substantial and kids will walk away with a deeper understanding of God’s Word and the Christian life.
Purchase Tough Questions About the Bible at
More Books for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- History Lives Christian History Series by Brandon & Mindy Withrow
- Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson
- Mary of Orange: At the Mercy of Kings
- The New Astronomy Book by Danny R. Faulkner
- God’s Special Tent: The Story of the Tabernacle and What Came After by Jean Stapleton
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