Why God? Author Q&A

Andy Whisenant | May 22nd

Tell us about this book, “Why God? Big Answers About God and Why We Believe in Him.What inspired you to write it?

In short, my idea for writing a children’s book on apologetics is inspired by the celebrity atheist, Richard Dawkins. A few years back I was watching an interview with Dawkins, and he talked about his desire to write for children. I determined then that what little I can do, I want to do, to help prepare kids for the kind of “Sesame Street” secularism that is coming their way. By the way, that’s why I use a character named Richard in the book who is a friend from Thomas’ class who doesn’t believe in God.

What prompted your love of teaching kids apologetics? How do you use stories (like this one) to explain big concepts to kids?

One day I was on a country drive with my daughter Addi who was at that time was five years old. She asked me, “Daddy, who made the devil?” When I explained to her that God made everything, I expected her to ask me why God would make what turned out to be such a rotten creature. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She asked me who I love more, God or Satan? While her line of inquiry made me laugh, it also illustrated an important truth: little kids have big questions too.

I’ve always loved teaching worldview and apologetics to teenagers, so this was just another progression in the process of interpreting what can be complex arguments for a popular audience. My passion is to take the kind of sophisticated argumentation that you might read in an academic journal on apologetics and try to reduce it to its most basic points and send them through a creative rinse cycle and see what comes out on the other side. There’s nothing more fun that helping a young audience better give an answer for the hope that is within them.

How do you hope “Why God” opens kids’ hearts and minds to the wonder of God?

I hope it taps into the kinds of questions they sometimes wonder about. I hope it helps parents introduce their kids to these important concepts and leads them into better understanding what Christians believe about God. I want them to see that the gospel isn’t intimidated or overshadowed by any rival truth claim. God is big enough for any question that will ever land in their mind.

The illustrations are so fun. How did you go about choosing the illustrator?

It all began with a children’s book that is written in French. My book reminded my editor of a book she had read many years ago with light, whimsical artwork. We then looked for an artist who had a similar style, and we are thrilled to have found Christine Grove. She did a wonderful job. My favorite illustration is where she shows the world in a fallen state. It makes the point so much more powerfully than three pages of text could do.

How can parents use this resource to talk to their kids about big questions they have and teach them basic apologetics?

I really enjoyed writing the connection point for parents. For me, it’s really important that the parents can easily connect with the concepts and explain them to their children. I used Romans 1 and 2 as a basis for the arguments I introduce in the book. My aim is that kids and parents alike can see that the Bible has the answers to our biggest questions and even our deepest doubts.

Questions like “Why do we believe in God?” are big ones and can be intimidating for parents to answer to their kids. How can this book give them a helpful tool?

I hope it’s a conversation starter. We need not think every conversation with a child, or anyone for that matter, is the final word on the subject. I pray that this is a book that parents can use to start talking about some of the reasons the Bible gives for why everyone who has a basic belief in God will not be easily cast off, though try as we may.

What do you hope kids and their parents learn from this book?

The Bible is a powerful book that explains how the universe points us to God. We see God’s invisible attributes and divine nature all around us (Romans 1). God’s moral law is written on our hearts (Romans 2). We cannot get away from God, even if we want to (Psalm 139). All of reality is our ally in talking about God, because it all exists by him, through him, and for him (Romans 11).