Monday, December 17, 2018

Book Review: God's Crime Scene for Kids

Introduction

Several years ago, cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace wrote the book "God's Crime Scene" where he details his investigation, as an atheist, into the evidence for God's existence. In the book, he explains that investigating the universe for an outside cause is quite similar to the investigation of a death scene. If the evidence at the scene can be explained by "staying in the room," then an outside cause (murder) can be reasonably removed. Likewise, if all the evidence within the universe can be explained by "staying in the room" of the universe, then an outside cause (God) is not a reasonable conclusion. In both cases, though, when evidence requires an outside cause, then the conclusion cannot be avoided. You can read my chapter-by-chapter review of "God's Crime Scene" here.

"God's Crime Scene" is the second book in a trilogy that includes "Cold-Case Christianity" and "Forensic Faith." Because of the popularity of this series, Wallace and his wife adapted the content of the books to a younger audience: kids! Today's review is the second in the kids' series: "God's Crime Scene for Kids."




The Story


In this second story, the young cadets find themselves investigating a new mystery: the source and purpose of the contents of an old box found in one of the cadets' attic. Detective Jeffries takes the cadets through a new series of investigative principles, giving them new tools to apply as they investigate. Detective Jeffries, like he did with the previous mystery of the skateboard, uses the principles to guide the cadets through an investigation of ultimate concern: the purpose and cause of the universe. The cadets use the contents of the box to determine if they must look outside the box for a cause or if the explanation exists in the box; likewise, they use the contents of the universe to determine if they must look outside the universe for its cause or if the universe is sufficient to explain its own contents. As the investigation into the box, its contents, and possible explanations progresses, Detective Jeffries asks the cadets eight specific questions about the universe's contents and possible explanations:

  1. Was the universe an inside or outside job?
  2. Who or what is responsible for the universe's being here?
  3. Does information require an author?
  4. Is there evidence of an artist? 
  5. Are humans more than just the "stuff" of the universe
  6. Can humans really make choices?
  7. Is "right" and "wrong" more than just a matter of opinion?
  8. Can an all-powerful and all-loving God exist with the evil in this universe?
Just as in the first mystery, the cadets simultaneously build their case for the source and purpose of the contents of the old box and the same for the universe. As each question is asked and possible explanations are considered, the possible explanations are narrowed down until only one for each remains reasonable given the contents of box and the universe. 



The Case-Maker's Academy


The Wallaces designed the book to not just be read but to be interactive. They bring the kids into the story by providing the Case-Maker's Academy online for the kids to follow along with the story's cadets as they go through the investigations. Once completed, the kids receive their own certificate they can show to their friends.


Reviewer's Thoughts


As with the first book in the series (Cold-Case Christianity for Kids), the Wallaces did another masterful job of taking the content of a more advanced book and presenting it in an entertaining and easily understandable way for our children. I can't wait to get my kids into this book (really, the whole series). No doubt, this book will help spark many conversations about God and the universe, and the Wallaces made it easy to find answers, for even those beginning to become familiar with this material, by having the content follow the order of the original "parent's" edition (God's Crime Scene). Just as I highly recommended the first book, I highly recommend this one as well. Now, on to the third in the trilogy- Forensic Faith for Kids, but something tells me there is no need for you to wait for a review...just go get it!

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