Friday, April 1, 2016

Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents' Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens by Tom Gilson

Christian parents need to be prepared to answer the myriad challenges teens might hear in today's increasingly pro homosexual culture. "Why shouldn't gays get married?" “Who says gay sex is wrong?" "Does the Bible actually say there's anything wrong with homosexuality?" "Don't you care that kids are being bullied just for being themselves?"

To start the discussion, Gilson provides a brief history of the issues beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He explains how and why cultural attitudes have reversed on this subject in such a short time-span, leaving Christians scrambling for answers.

This is perhaps the most complicated and contentious issue Christians face in today's culture. Most churches are poorly equipped to handle it; parents are even less prepared. The good news is that parents need not have pat answers ready before they dive into conversations with their teens and preteens on this difficult topic. Learning together—parents struggling through these issues alongside their kids and leading them to biblical answers— has relational benefits.

Answers are important, though, so manageable, nontechnical answers to common questions surrounding this issue are provided, as well as a guide to further resources.

My review:

  This book is geared for parents who want to talk to their teenagers about homosexuality, but it would also make a great resource for anyone who wants to better understand the challenges we are facing and how to answer criticisms Christians face for daring to believe homosexuality and gay marriage is wrong.

 The book is set up into three sections:

 Section one: Essential background. This section covers the rise, acceptance, and takeover by a well planned gay agenda

Section two: Navigating the Rocky relationships. This section deals with how to relate to gay people, and what kids may face in school and college for daring to believe the Bible about homosexuality.

Section three: Practical help in handling the challenges. This section takes up about half of the book and sets up scenarios of questions kids may be asked, and what to say and not to say.

   The book is very well done. The author takes a compassionate stance, admitting that many Christians have had the wrong actions and attitudes towards gay people, while still showing how wrong homosexuality is. The book is full of great advice on how to not only help teenagers know how to handle the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage when challenged, but it also helps parents be prepared for what their teens may ask them, and ways to open conversations when their teens may not agree with them on some things.

 I highly recommend this to people whose children are in public school especially, but also to all parents or anyone wanting to understand this issue and how to respond to it better.

About the author:

Tom Gilson is the Senior Editor and Ministry Coordinator specializing in Christian apologetics and inspiration for the daily online news and insight website The Stream ( Previously he had served with the Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance. He is the monthly Worldview and You columnist at BreakPoint Online, and has written articles for Discipleship Journal, Touchstone Magazine, and Salvo. He blogs at Thinking Christian ( When not studying or writing he enjoys canoeing, sailing, and long walks in the woods. He lives with wife Sara and their two college-aged children in Lebanon, Ohio.

Critical Conversations is available from Kregel Publications.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.