Title: Cold-Case Christianity for Kids
Author: J. Warner Wallace
Major Themes: Bible Study, Detective Work
Synopsis: A cold-case detective leads a group of teenagers through a course of study to learn how to solve crimes as well as determine the truth of the Gospel.
For about three months now, our little church has been doing a study of Cold-Case Christianity for Kids. We were intending to take only about two months to go through it, but with sickness, traveling, and visitors, among the various families, it has taken a lot longer. This book is aimed at children ages 8 through 12, but even the adults have found it interesting. Of course, we have also read the adult version of Cold-Case Christianity along with it.
Cold-Case Christianity for Kids covers much of the same ground that the adult version covers, but without gory details of murders. Instead, the mystery solved in this book has to do with the ownership of an old skateboard that someone has found in a shed at school. He found the skateboard the day that he was to begin a new detective training academy for student cadets. Everyone was intrigued by the skateboard, and where it was found, and curious to know how it got there and to whom it had belonged. Throughout the eight chapters of the book, little bits of new information are discovered which help to clear up the mystery. At the same time, Detective Jeffries, the leader of the class, is teaching the children how to figure out if Jesus was real and if the resurrection was real.
Each week, Detective Jeffries teaches his class something more about how to become a good detective. Because J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective, he mentions that frequently. Some of these tips include learning how to infer, testing your witnesses, and hanging on to every word. He goes through exactly what each one means, and how to apply it both to the skateboard mystery, as well as to the Gospels. What evidence is there that the Gospels are true? How can we sort through the evidence and find the truth—especially when there are artifacts, objects that have nothing to do with the crime (or additions to the Gospels)?
Each chapter has a story, in which the cadets and Detective Jeffries discuss the new information they have discovered about the skateboard, and then go into a discussion about the truth of the Gospel. There are many illustrations that help cement the concepts, and several sidebars in each chapter, as well. Most chapters include Detective Definitions, in which common words are defined as they relate to detectives. There is a CSI (crime scene investigation) Assignment in each chapter, in which the reader is asked to look up a verse or passage in the Bible and fill in the blanks. Each chapter also adds a “tool” for your detective bag, to help you solve mysteries (or determine the truth about the Bible!). At the back of the book, links direct you to a page of study helps on the author’s website. These helps include a video to watch for each lesson, and downloadable fill-in sheets and activity sheets for each chapter. We have been using these together in our group, and they have been quite helpful.
Cold-Case Christianity for Kids is a great resource to help your children learn how to study the Bible and know if it is true. It gives them tools to help defend their faith when they are challenged.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12