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Book Reviews

Book Reviews, The Resurrection

Book Review: Resurrection iWitness

We didn’t set out to review books written solely by authors from the MA Apologetics program at Biola University, yet once again we find ourselves with just such a book: Resurrection iWitnessDoug Powell, author of the Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics wrote and designed this intriguing, interactive book.

I picked up Resurrection iWitness because it was described as “similar to the Ologies series” and hoped to find that it would be likewise appropriate for the 8 and up audience. After review, 12 and up (the suggested age for Powell’s similar creation, Jesus iWitness) seems more appropriate.


The book is structured around the minimal facts approach to the resurrection, which is an idea pioneered by Dr Gary Habermas and Dr Mike Licona. In short, the minimal facts approach requires that any explanation of the resurrection story must satisfy, at the bare minimum, six widely agreed upon facts: Jesus was crucified, Jesus died, Jesus was buried in a tomb, friends claimed to have seen Jesus, and enemies claimed to have seen Jesus. Though the book is only 32 pages long, Powell presents a comprehensive treatment of the material, and effectively addresses common objections to the resurrection account using the minimal facts approach. The swoon and stolen body theories are two of the seven alternate theories explored.



  • Sturdy, hardcover design. Upon receiving the book I was impressed by the hefty size (9.8 x 12 x 0.9 inches).
  • Fold out maps, flip up charts and various flaps provide engaging tactile interaction with the material. I suspect that these would not hold up well to energetic use by eager children, but for the 12 and up crowd, they seem sufficiently rugged.
  • The typeface choices employed throughout sometimes sacrifice legibility for style, however, all of the content is readable.
  • The images used range from paintings by Rembrandt to stock photography (a diverse spread, indeed), but overall the “feel” of the book is cohesive.


I would recommend this book for 12 and up, (possibly even high school age and older) due to the use of some complex terms and reasoning that may be difficult for a younger audience to understand on their own. Overall, the writing style is to the point and pleasantly conversational. Resurrection iWitness would make a wonderful family reading time resource where each page could be used to foster conversation about the evidence, and where adults could immediately clarify difficult concepts for young ones.



Pick up a copy here: Resurrection iWitness written and designed by Doug Powell







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Apologetics, Book Reviews, Creation

Book Review: How Do We Know God is Really There?

We were excited to pick up a copy of the first book in the Young Defenders series, How Do We Know God is Really There? by Melissa Cain Travis, this week. Below, we will share briefly what we found to be the pros and cons of the book.


  • Presents important Christian apologetic arguments in a children’s medium.
  • The flow of conversation seems natural, and the young character’s imagination is endearing.
  • The young character’s father is patient and thorough as he shares evidence for God’s existence.
  • This book addresses the gap. That is, the lack of Christian apologetics materials available to families with young children. We look forward to seeing the next topic addressed by Travis!
  • Written by a graduate of the well-respected Christian Apologetics Masters program at Biola University. We didn’t have to be as apprehensive about the theological undergirding of the material.
  • Good Quality. The physical product is a sturdy, 48 page, hardcover book.
  • The words are legible and readable.
  • The illustrations are full-color and full-page. From artist Christopher Voss.


  • At times complex for the assumed age range. At times, the language seems appropriate for young children, but at others, it seems to be for 5th grade and older.  An adult can help clarify for younger kiddos.
  • The illustrations have a “rough draft” flavor. Part of us wishes they had been polished a bit more, and the other part of us realizes children will probably not be bothered by this at all!


Do We Recommend it?

Despite the cons that we laid out above, we think that this book is a useful, entertaining tool that can help families begin conversations about why they believe in the Christian God. It is so important to begin these discussions at a young age, and to assure our children that asking questions is encouraged and biblical. We look forward to more Young Defender books, as well as other authors stepping into the youth apologetics gap.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)



Read more about Melissa Cain Travis’ quest in Biola Magazine.


GodIsReallyThere-Cover-PicPick up a copy here: How Do We Know God is Really There? by Melissa Cain Travis (2013)


Book Reviews

Book Review: Dr. Craig’s “What is God Like?” God is Spirit

Today we are reviewing a children’s book written by renowned apologist, William Lane Craig, titled Dr. Craig’s “What is God Like?” God is Spirit: The Attributes of God for Children. Dr. Craig is also the author of On Guard and Reasonable Faith and is a research professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. Marli Renee illustrated the book and is based in California.

God is Spirit is the first of ten booklets written by Dr. Craig as part of his “What is God Like?” series. The series presents theological truths about God(such as omniscience and eternity, yikes!) in child-friendly language, and each booklet contains a memory verse that summarizes the attribute covered by the story. For example, God is Spirit’s memory verse is John 4:24, “God is Spirit.” Pretty straightforward, right?

In each of the booklets, the story follows Brown Bear, Red Goose and their two children,  John(a bear) and Charity(a goose). The biologically perplexing family discusses truths about God as they go about daily activities in their home and around town in conversations that focus on the concept rather than a storyline. I appreciated the boiled down wording and the plain delivery of the information. Also wise is Dr. Craig’s decision to devote a separate booklet to each attribute, rather than condensing all of the theology into one or two dense sittings. The illustrations are straightforward like the writing, but are full-page and colorful enough to -hopefully- intrigue a fidgety listener. The wee little goose, Charity, is especially charming.

There is one point in the story where the mother, Red Goose, asks the father, Brown Bear, if it is because God is spirit that He can’t be seen. This struck me as a bit odd, because while the question would be appropriate for one of the children to ask, it seemed a bit strange for the grown(presumably Bible literate) mother to ask such a thing. It is not a major issue, but I will likely substitute one of the children’s names for “mom” when I read that portion to kids. Minor complaints would be that some of the illustrations are inconsistent in quality, and some small punctuation errors were overlooked; though children will likely overlook those things, as well. The overall quality of the booklet was surprisingly good in spite of the very affordable price and the self-publishing route selected by Dr. Craig. Don’t fear the word “booklet”; it is a proper book.

Dr. Craig and Renee manage to convey an important attribute(well, they are all important, aren’t they?) of God in a way that children can digest. Though not an apologetics resource, per-say, these ten booklets will help you lay the groundwork of proper understanding that is essential for biblical understanding and faith defense for your children.





Pick up a copy of this and the other nine booklets here: Dr. Craig’s “What is God Like?” God is Spirit by William Lane Craig, illustrated by Marli Renee 


Apologetics, Articles, Book Reviews

Book Review: Case for Faith for Kids

Today we are reviewing a Christian apologetics book written for the 9 and up crowd, titled Case for Faith for Kids(Updated and Expanded). It was written by Lee Strobel, bestselling author of The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator and holder of law and journalism degrees; Rob Suggs, author and illustrator of several children’s book projects; and Robert Elmer, author of numerous novels including books for young readers.

Reading Strobel’s “The Case for…” series for the first time several years ago was a groundbreaking experience for me. It was my first foray into the land of Christian apologetics, and I quickly discovered that Strobel’s books were written in such a way that reading them never felt like drudgery, though they dealt with philosophical, historical and technical subjects. By presenting the evidence and terminology in plain language, “The Case for…”  books invite Christians to ask tough questions, think more deeply, and find solid answers about their faith, Creator, and Savior. So, as I began reading Case for Faith for Kids, I was interested to see how Strobel would present the information without causing mental fatigue and subsequent brain shutdown in young readers.

In 144 pages, Case for Faith for Kids details several common objections and assertions presented by non-believers and skeptics(and even, regrettably, some believers), and then provides reasoned answers to the objections. The authors manage to distill a wealth of logical and philosophical arguments into language and arguments that are appropriate for young readers. For example, the first subject tackled is a big question: “Why would a good god allow bad things?” In brief interview-style segments and plainly worded “bad thing” scenarios, readers are walked through a concise explanation of the nature of evil, God’s role in evil, and free will. By the end of the chapter, the problem of personal and natural evil is determined to be the result of mankind’s free will choices, rather than machinations of God. Sophisticated arguments undergird the highly accessible language and format of this and the other four chapters in Part 1 of the book.

Part 2 contains four vignettes that directly relate to the material covered in Part 1. One of the stories depicts several young people attempting to sneak into a movie showing using counterfeit tickets. The realistic scenario covers the material presented in Chapter 4 – whether the world’s religions all lead to the same God – and serves as a cautionary tale against compromising one’s morals. The book ends with an exhortation to decide which of the four “D”s the reader will become; will they become a Denier, Delayer, Departer or Delighter?

The facts + story + application approach applied by Strobel et al. seems to be an effective technique for transferring the information to young minds and then helping it to stick. For children in junior high and high school, the wording(it can seem a bit condescending to the older crowd at times as it attempts to use “hip” lingo), scenarios, and illustrations may be too childish, and the original The Case for Faith may be more edifying and suitable.

Overall, the usefulness of this book is twofold. On the one hand, for a child 9+ years of age, it is appropriate reading material and a springboard for further apologetical investigation. On the other hand, the book will prove handy for parents who would like to acquire language and examples that can be shared conversationally with older children or quickly adapted for conversations with children younger than 9.

I would recommend Case for Faith for Kids as a good tool for beginning conversations about deep, faith-related issues, firming up belief foundations, and reassuring young children that it is okay to ask the big questions.


faithforcasePick up a copy here: Case for Faith for Kids (Updated and Expanded) by Lee Strobel with Rob Suggs and Robert Elmer (2006)