Last week on RTB’s official Facebook page we invited people to share some of the science-faith questions their kids ask. Soon, questions poured in. A 5-year-old asked whether her teddy bear would be in heaven. An 11-year-old wondered how to reconcile Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons with Adam and Eve. And another asked whether there were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark. (To paraphrase RTB theologian Krista Bontrager’s responses: heaven will be even better than the best things we experience here on earth (see 1 Corinthians 2:9); Neanderthals were creatures distinct from humans. Cro-Magnon is an old term used to describe modern humans (see RTB 101 – Historical Adam); and no, dinosaurs went extinct millions of years before the Flood (see RTB 101 – Dinosaurs).
Suffice it to say we, at RTB, like questions. Most people do. In fact, as RTB president Hugh Ross points out, “It is our responsibility not only to ask good questions but to seek answers, especially when it comes to our faith.” That’s the kicker.
Kids often ask difficult questions about faith that we might not have answers to. Yet to ignore their questions—or worse, discourage them—can turn inquisitive kids into skeptical adults. For that reason, we’ve developed our first DVD especially for kids.
In God’s Awesome Universe, astrophysicist and father of five Jeff Zweerink encourages an auditorium full of lively school kids to ask good questions and to find answers by investigating God’s Word and world. Kids can enjoy the animated graphics sprinkled throughout the digestible 22-minute DVD, and parents will get a kick out of the boisterous oohs and ahhs coming from the audience.
The hope is that, with parental support, scientifically minded children will be encouraged to find (and maintain) confidence in their faith as they pursue science. RTB’s new adjunct scholar (and young mom) Katie Galloway advises parents to “encourage their children to ask questions and to learn to be okay with the answer ‘I don’t know.’” But, she adds, our uncertainties should “move us to seek answers for the important questions.”
Be assured that our faith rests on something solid, so don’t be afraid of questions. Our inability to solve some paradoxes doesn’t undermine our faith. We don’t have to have all the answers, but we can develop the most coherent, cohesive worldview possible.
Participating in science fairs helped Katie pursue science and eventually earn her doctorate in chemical engineering. (Read more about Katie here.) If you have a budding scientist, encourage them to participate in science fairs. Or look for fun experiments in the discipline that most interests your child. For example, if your child loves gazing at the moon, have them recreate various phases of the moon with Oreo cookies. (Coincidentally, this activity will also work for anyone who likes eating cookies.) As you and your child enjoy cookie-frosting goodness, discuss how our remarkable moon points to a Designer. Take Two offers several layfriendly articles on the moon if you’d like a quick brush-up on key points (see “A Stark Beauty,” “Once in a Blue Moon,” and “Blockbusters and Bombardments”). Or keyword search “moon” on our website.
If your scientifically minded child sees you investigating their questions (and yours), they’ll be encouraged to keep asking questions and seeking answers. Perhaps they might even end up pursuing science just as Katie did. As she puts it, “Scientifically minded children have the opportunity to be used by God in amazing ways. Set the example by valuing knowledge yourself.”