Apologetics through Children’s Fables

Can apologetics be taught through children’s fables? Michael and Sarah Dowling have proven it can be done. They have produced a beautiful and unusual book called Frogs Rainy Day Story and Other Fables that appeals to children through adults. Michael dubs it “an apologetic book for adults disguised as a children’s book.”

He and Sarah explain to Heritage of Truth host Jeanne Dennis how and why they wrote and illustrated this delightful book. Both of them come from dark pasts involved with the occult and New Age. They wanted to help others understand the truth they have found in Jesus Christ by teaching apologetics through the eight children’s fables in their book.

Sections at the end of each fable compare what the world says with what God says in the Bible. These comments should lead to great discussions.

What about you? Have you tried to teach your children about the biblical worldview? What resources have you used? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

You might also want to visit our children’s section with activities, stories, and other resources to help your children understand biblical truth.

I recommend you purchase the book directly from the Dowlings at their website to receive a signed copy. If you prefer to buy through our Christianbook.com affiliate link, you will find it below.

Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables
By Michael James Dowling / Carpenter’s Son Publishing

 

Recall the Miracles as Christmas Approaches

It may be difficult to recall the miracles as Christmas approaches. Here in the U.S. we have just survived Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. Both of these occasions encourage consumers to buy as many material goods as possible for the lowest prices. So the mad rush to Christmas Day has begun.

Does this annual focus on accumulating more stuff bother you as much as it does me? What happened to the wonder of the Incarnation? What about the miracle of Jesus’ birth when God Himself took on human flesh and was born of a virgin’s womb? Incredible news! Even more wondrous, He did it for us, to save us from our sin.

Unbridled materialism aside, the Christmas season is a wonderful time for families to enjoy holiday traditions like watching Christmas movies. Some of the most popular are Hallmark movies.

The Power of Christmas Movies

boy hanging homemade Christmas ornamentEver since mid-October, Hallmark has been airing Christmas films filled with nostalgia, romance, and family celebrations. Even though these offerings have simple and predictable plots, people love them

John Stonestreet of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview shared on BreakPoint his theory that Hallmark movies help satisfy our “longing for an alternative to modern society and culture.”

Ironically, watching Hallmark movies on their channels also bombards us with the culture we’re supposedly trying to escape. Every few minutes, we have to endure several advertisements, most urging us to buy more stuff.

So Hallmark feeds us what we long for while conditioning us through their sponsors to crave what we don’t need.

Hallmark doesn’t shy away from authentic Christmas carols, though. We hear characters sing about Jesus, but the words rarely have an obvious effect on the singers. We hear “God and sinners reconciled” in upbeat background music – with no sense of the awe we should feel at that incredible gift.

Making Movie Time More Fun

Now please understand, I enjoy most Hallmark and other Christmas movies. I just want to urge Christian families to talk about what they’ve seen and heard after they watch them. Children and teens love talking about things they enjoy. The Christmas season is a great time to let them do just that while helping them understand more about the truths of our faith.

Girl in red and white carrying lantern in snowFor example, the wonder expressed by the characters in most Hallmark and other Christmas movies has to do with “Christmas magic” or “Christmas miracles.” We hear little to nothing about the real miracle of Christmas, that God gave His Son for you and me. So after you watch a Christmas movie, discuss what the writers might mean by “Christmas magic” and “Christmas miracles.” Then ask them what they think are the true miracles of Christmas. Some topics you might discuss: a virgin bearing a son, angels announcing Jesus’ birth to shepherds, God in human flesh, the Creator taking on the form of a created being, a Savior born to die for us, Old Testament prophecies fulfilled, etc.

Dr. Ted Baehr of Movie Guide suggested in an interview he did with us that we use movie nights to help train our families to discern the messages in the movies we watch. He wrote a family devotional, Reel to Real,to help us pull out biblical principles from movies to apply to our lives. Some of those movies include Christmas movies.

So in the mad rush before Christmas, I hope you’ll take time to relax with your family, enjoy some good Christmas movies, and recall the miracles. Focus on the greatest miracle of the season – the Light of the World, our Savior born in Bethlehem who came to redeem us from our sin.

Jeanne Dennis

Here are links to reviews I wrote for some Christmas movies that might help:

The Promise: Birth of the Messiah
Saving Christmas

Please share about your favorite Christmas movies in the comments below.

Worthwhile Movie Viewing with Dr. Ted Baehr

Dr. Ted Baehr of Movie Guide joins Heritage of Truth host Jeanne Dennis to talk about how families can have worthwhile movie viewing time. He gives tips for discussing movies as a family. He also introduces his book Reel to Real.

How about you? Does your family enjoy watching movies together? Have you tried discussing them afterwards? Please share in the comments section below.

The books Dr. Baehr discusses here are Reel to Real, The Culture-Wise Family, How to Succeed in Hollywood without Losing Your Soul, and Media-Wise Family. You can purchase all but the last of Dr. Baehr’s books through our Christianbook.com affiliate link:
Resources from Dr. Ted Baehr

Have “Mary” Holidays

Have “Mary” holidays. This is the message of our guest Brenda Poinsett. In this Short Takes interview, Brenda discusses how mothers and grandmothers can truly enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every other holiday while still making memories and sharing their faith heritage with their children and grandchildren. You can watch Brenda’s original interview here.

Apologetics and America’s Future with Dr. Richard Land

Apologetics training is essential for America’s future revival, according to Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary. He contends that all Christian denominations have fallen short in the last seventy years in training our people to understand the basis of our faith.

In this discussion with Heritage of Truth host Jeanne Dennis, Dr. Land explains the definition of religious freedom and how the First Amendment to the US Constitution came about. He also describes the proper sequence of responses when a government tries to coerce its people to disobey God’s laws.

Dr. Land ends with a call to all believers to heed 2 Chronicles 7:14 and let revival start with them.