Sunday Afternoon Bookworm: Answers Book for Teens (Bodie Hodge, Tommy Mitchell, Ken Ham)
Over twenty years ago, Ken Ham and several co-authors wrote The Answers Book: The 20 Most-Asked Questions about Creation, Evolution & the Book of Genesis Answered. This book, which has been updated, revised, and expanded through the years, remains a standard text for introducing Christians and seekers alike to the concept that the Bible can be trusted from beginning to end.
At 208 pages, a book-reading culture would consider that book an easy read. But in a post-book-reading culture, where attention spans have been shortened to a 140-character tweet or a 160-character text message, it has become harder for teens to handle even that light of a read. So a team of Answers in Genesis writers recently prepared a condensed and briefer version for teens.
The Answers Book For Teens hits the high points of key apologetics questions like how we can know God exists and why God permits evil. It also covers common questions about the authority of Scripture and the authenticity of its creation account. (It’s about a 70/30 or 60/40 split with general apologetics / Creation-specific apologetics.)
The book’s grunge-influenced graphic design and illustrations are, quite likely, indeed exactly what is cool today. But they’re cool today in the same way that mullets or big hair were cool in the ’80s. It’s the current fad, but undoubtedly today’s teens will look back on it in twenty years and say, “I thought that was COOL then?” That said, it’s undoubtedly exactly the course the book’s graphic designers needed to take to reach their target audience.
Also, despite the strength of the young-earth Creationist view in homeschooling circles, this book is decidedly targeted toward a public school audience. Of the fifteen questions, one (#12) is devoted to whether it’s legal to talk about faith or pray inside government schools; another (#10) deals with intimate relationships outside of marriage in a fashion clearly targeted toward a government schooling audience. (This book’s not for homeschooling teens, but that’s not necessarily a problen. Most home-educated teens, even those without a scientific bent, could easily handle the fairly light read of the adult version.)
Answers Book for Teens hits its target. It offers a clear and cogent apologetic for Christianity and for the accuracy of Scriptures in a way appropriate for its target government-schooling audience.
Review copy provided; a positive review was not required.