QUICK HIT: Best known for his academic work in theology and philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig shifts gears in What is God Like? to bring these often complicated doctrines about God to a level that children can understand. In God is All-Knowing, Craig deals with the omniscience of God by reminding young readers that praying to God for wisdom will help was learn. He also slyly throws in a question about human free will, dealing with the difficulty of aligning God’s knowledge with human freedom.
In the previous four reviews on the books in this series, I’ve primarily focused on the theological concepts. I want to shake it up a bit in this review by first talking about the family dynamic Craig has created in these books. The family is quite unusual. The women in the family are geese while the men in the family are bears. They are different animals, different colors, and different altogether. I think this is a wonderful way to portray a family that is comprised of different people and thus have different ways of understanding concepts and asking questions but are still in need of the same answer. Brown Bear and Red Goose model a great parenting structure where the parents are active and engaged in teaching their children spiritual concepts.
This fifth book in the series, God is All-Knowing, deals with the omniscience of God. In particular, John wants to know if God knows what Mama is going to get at the store (he hopes not celery!) Rather than play the concept safely and simply, Craig slyly throws in a question about human free will. That’s really what makes these books stand out head and shoulders above any other book of this type on the market. Craig goes above and beyond to actually grapple with difficult questions at a child’s level.
If God knows everything and it’s impossible for him to make a mistake, can anyone really change their mind? It’s a difficult question and Craig answers it by balancing God’s foreknowledge with human free will. Just because God knows a thing passively does not imply that he is thereby forcing that thing actively. Craig also throws in practical applications. If God knows everything, then praying to him for wisdom will help us know more. Also, we can’t keep secrets from God.
As always, parents are to use the book as a launching pad into further spiritual discussion. Don’t be afraid of your children’s questions and prepare yourself to know the answer! Don’t be afraid to tell your child that you’ll have to think about the best way to respond. This will show children that questions are for all people of all ages and help them open up even more. This is book five in a ten book series. You need to have them all!