Recently our family went to the World Science Festival in Brisbane. There were lots of really interesting booths and “street science” with demonstrations and hands-on activities. The highlights of the festival for us were seeing a levitating superconductor in action, and attending a talk by the “Mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin. We got a glimpse into his amazingly agile mind when he talked out loud as he went through his process for squaring five-digit numbers quickly in his head. Lewis enjoyed the talk a lot, despite small protests initially because it was on a Friday night (after all, who would want to listen to an adult talk about maths at the end of a school week!). In the car on the way home, he was practicing Mr. Benjamin’s method for squaring two-digit numbers! Continue reading “Beyond the Limits of Science”
How do you talk to young children about evil? Undoubtedly, they too have experienced this aspect of life. Some of them personally, and some through seeing it in the lives of others (perhaps via the news). With this kind of experience comes a range of emotions and many questions that need to be answered.
One of the most important questions our kids will ever ask (and if they don’t, we should encourage them to!) is how do you know if something is true?
As they grow up, they will inevitably encounter the idea that empirical science is the only acceptable measure for truth. No doubt they will hear ‘show me the (physical) evidence and I will believe’ or variations of that sentiment when they attempt to share their faith. Worse still, they could be influenced by it and be blinded to truth all together.
What is the key that unlocks new discoveries, insights and understanding? The answer is ‘a question’. Or better yet, ‘a very good question!’
“Without a good question, a good answer has no place to go”
We can help our children ‘release’ these great answers by giving them the right keys. We can help them by being intentional in the ways we ask questions.
Our children are making their way through a world that is more complicated than the one we grew up with.
For example, I know a child whose classmate at primary school was a boy but is now considered a girl. While other children are trying to figure this out, the world is telling them that there are no absolutes, and everyone chooses their own truth.
One of the greatest epiphanies of my life happened when I came to understand the nature of truth. It started when Jesus was presented to me in an “either-or” kind of way. I had heard the Gospel before. I had heard about Jesus many times before. But this time, it made sense as a claim that I couldn’t just brush off!
This has to be the number one question kids ask about God. I remember back when I was still a young Christian, I was asked this question by a 4 year old son of a friend of mine. This boy was one of the most logical young kids I had ever met. He had figured out on his own that Santa Claus couldn’t be real, because he appeared at different shopping centres at the same time! I must admit that I don’t remember how I answered his question. It was probably something like “God was just always there. No one made Him.”
There is really nothing wrong with that answer, except that I think there is more to be said. Continue reading ““So if God made everything, then who made God?!””
I recently came up with a new game to play in the car with my son. It’s called ‘Nonsensical Questions” (or sometimes ‘The Impossible Quest’). It has become one of our favourite games to play on the way to school. We would take turns to come up with the most nonsensical or impossible questions we could think of. Continue reading “How elephant is a waterfall?”