During the first 18 months of the pandemic, I had a new job, as an editor and the Christian formation specialist at Church Publishing Incorporated in New York City. I spent all but eight days working from a corner of our kitchen table in Brooklyn, and one of the very best things I did there was to acquire and edit New Directions for Holy Questions: Progressive Christian Theology for Families by Claire Brown and Anita Peebles. It was a joy and a privilege to work on, and I am so glad it’s out in the world!
This is a book for those who come to Christianity with open hearts and open minds, for the curious, for children and others who have big questions about God and Jesus and the Bible — questions that often lead to more wondering rather than simple answers, questions Christians have wrestled with throughout the ages.
Each chapter asks a holy question and begins with a retelling of a Bible story. Thoughtful conversation prompts and opportunities for both action and reflection lead the reader in new directions. You’ll find spiritual practices to try, a justice story that gives a real-life illustration of the concept being discussed, and a few summary points at the end of each chapter to give adults suggestions for talking about these big ideas with children not yet old enough to read. The authors write from a perspective that embraces anti-racism, gender equality, economic justice, care of the environment, affirmation of LGBTQ+ folks, trauma-informed practice, and global citizenship.
Following Jesus is a journey, and Claire and Anita are wonderful, insightful companions on the way for children and adults alike. More enriching conversation can be found on the book’s website and podcast. You can read an excerpt on the Church Publishing website here.
Wendy Claire Barrie is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents.