Finding and Following: Talking with Children about God by Helen Oppenheimer
This book is for adults who have some influence with children, and especially those who are regularly in touch with them: parents, grandparents, teachers, clergy and friends. It is concerned with questions which need to be explored about how to understand the Christian faith and commend it to the next generation. At present, Helen Oppenheimer believes, many people are being crippled by inadequate notions of the Christian faith, which make it difficult either to live it out or to impart credible beliefs to children. It is over this that she seeks to offer help. Here is no talking down, no suppressing questions, but an approach which attracts from the very first page, 'Even to children it ought to be possible to say, "This is what I believe. Lots of people disagree. Ask them what they think." If that is going to muddle them, it must muddle them still more to say, "This is what children ought to believe but never mind: it doesn't have anything much to do with grown-up life." 'Here are no trusty donkeys, a few sheep and a kind Shepherd, or even 'Jesus loves you', 'Jesus is your friend', but a discussion of belief and behaviour, finding God in creation, in providence, in grace, in church, in the Bible, in people, in things, which illuminates even the most difficult of issues and allows them to be considered without superficiality. What Christians of all ages need rather than naivety, Helen Oppenheimer also argues, is a kind of faithful openness to questioning. And above all, nothing short of the deepest sincerity will do. These are qualities which she herself shows here, and in addition to the wise advice she gives, her book is a delight to read. Helen Oppenheimer is an Anglican wife and mother who writes on Christian ethics and theology. She was awarded a Lambeth DD for her work on Christian ethics.