I was absolutely delighted to find the Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith in our Christian bookstore. It combines my kids’ favourite characters and my favorite subject – apologetics. So I had high expectations that it would be a great fit for our bookshelf.
While I wasn’t entirely disappointed, the book wasn’t quite what we hoped it would be but, that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful in discipling kids.
In the story Brother and Sister Bear are presented with the idea that one of their friends does not believe in God but instead relies on science as the explanation for the world around us.
This raises some questions for the cubs, who are being raised as Christians. The cubs and their parents decide to visit the preacher so the kids can ask him about faith.
Along the way Papa mentions that the beauty of nature helps feed our faith, which is along the lines of the apologetic argument that nature reveals God to us.
Unfortunately, I was a little let down with the rest of the book. It seems the apologetic angle was abandoned. Instead, the book gives the impression we just need to have faith in God and His love, like Daniel did in the lions den but, it doesn’t give kids a good reason for their faith.
While this is book is a good start to opening up the discussion with your younger kids about God and belief, it does little to answer the why.
In today’s world, we need to give our kids more substance than what is available in this book.
Regardless, I still appreciate that it gives me a chance to talk about people who don’t have faith in God. In fact, the cubs friend clearly puts his faith in science. That is a great opportunity to use some apologetic arguments that rely on science to prove there is a creator.
There are also some questions and activities on the back page to strengthen kids faith that can be fun discussion starters for families.
I find it interesting that even characters who have such a long history are feeling the need to address questions of faith.
I think this book is ideal for kids six and under.