Teaching Genesis to Kids

I’m brand new here so please forgive me if a similar thread has covered this. I couldn’t seem to find one. I’m an Evangelical Christian and am looking for ways to explain/teach Genesis to my son. I want him to know that the Bible is absolutely trustworthy. Are there any evolutionary creationists here with good advice or ideas on what to do and say when reading the Creation story to elementary age kids? My son is 11 years old and is picking up (from other Christians) the usual views that evolution is incompatible with what the Bible teaches.

Hi, James. And welcome to the forum! I don’t think your question has been covered before here – and it wouldn’t matter if it had. It’s a good question. Lots of stuff around here gets repeated regularly.

It’s been a while since my own boys were that young. But one of the things I was glad of was that they did spend time reading their Bibles --and doing so more-or-less on their own. It’s a dangerous collection of books to turn loose on a child for those who want to maintain a facade of seamless and all-encompassing answers. Bible reading itself tends to provoke good questions and discussion with parents later. If they see you reading, and wrestling with Bible passages, then they will pick up that it is important and trustworthy. Hopefully what they also pick up is the humility to know that our responses to (and understandings of) the Bible are not infallible. If you have a good relationship with your son so that he feels comfortable bringing tough questions about his reading material to you, then he is already in a great place.

I wouldn’t try to hard to make sure everything always gets “explained”. Just let him read it, and then let him form his own questions. Of course if his questions are already preformed in his mind by peers who have decided they already understand everything there is to know about Genesis, then you might do well to premeditate a question or two to help him realize that Scriptures aren’t so easily caged into one group’s narrow views. But he probably won’t engage in any delving into Scriptures that he doesn’t see you doing or trying yourself first. Not knowing you beyond this one post of yours, I’m just speculating, of course. But my sense is, if you’re here asking sincere questions and you care deeply about the Bible, my bet is that your son’s going to be okay.

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I think if you teach Genesis with a good commentary or study Bible that teaches kids how to approach interpretation in an appropriate cultural context, that’s a great start. Maybe checkout the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

The Homeschool Forum might have some threads with some helpful tidbits for integrating science and faith with kids:

Then there is this article about some materials that were supposedly in development by Faraday Institute: http://biologos.org/blogs/chris-stump-equipping-educators/new-approaches-to-communicating-science-and-faith-to-children

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Hi, I have been reading Genisis with my kids and talking to them about the differing views. I acknowledge to them, plainly, that there are different opinions. I am operating on the belief that it is human nature to remember more firmly the first thing one is told. If I bring up the subject first, I have an edge on… well, in our case, the Sunday school class.
I also tell them that many Christians are very afraid of the idea of evolution and even believe a person can’t be a Christian if they believe in evolution or an old earth. I hope that by telling him that, it is harder for those Christians to discredit me in my son’s eyes.
Here is a book title suggestion: Space and Time (God’s creation series) that does have an old earth perspective. The author is Michael Carroll. It is a little ahead of my 7yr old’s reading level, but probably great for your 11yr. The author discusses creation as told in the 7 day account, but rearranges the order in conjunction with evolutionary theory, and admits it. Tons of scripture verses are woven in or used as captions for the many photographs.
With the rest of Genisis, as I said we are reading and talking together. (I homeschool, so it is part of “reading time,” scheduled, measured, and limited. If we weren’t, I’d do it at bedtime.) This week I read about the tower of Babel to them. That was more dificult. All I could come up with was: it is really good, valuable and healthy to KNOW what the Bible says. We don’t have to have an explaination for everything. God, himself, has not given us an explanation (a why) for everything. And I don’t need to answer for him or make excuses for him, that’s not a job he entrusted to me.
May the Lord bless you and guide you as you search for what works for you.

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