Gum, Geckos, and God: A Family's Adventure in Space, Time, and Faith by James Spiegel

I stumbled upon Gum, Geckos, and God: A Family’s Adventure in Space, Time, and Faith by my old Taylor University prof Jim Spiegel while looking for something else (it might have been his recently released The Making of an Atheist) and it became one of the many impulse buys I have made for my Kindle.

Plus, it seemed like a good fit. I have young kids and enjoy conversations about faith and philosophy; and my kids like to play stump the parent too.

It turned out to be a very enjoyable read.

Here is Publishers Weekly:

Spiegel, philosophy professor at Indiana’s Taylor University, takes deep issues of the Christian faith and dumps them smack into real life with a little help from his children. Their questions—Dad, where does God live? Dad, does God speak English? and What does God know?—open the door to discussions about God that solicit satisfying answers from Dad. Spiegel’s responses and ensuing comments will satisfy adults as well, especially those looking for beginning and intermediate study on topics such as God’s omniscience, the Golden Rule, God’s presence and human origin and destiny. Spiegel ponders the great issues of the faith with a light touch, thanks to the innate comedy of kids, but also to his own brand of humor. No doubt some readers will wish for more depth when it comes to doctrinal fundamentals, but rather than exhaustive study, the point is that God touches human hearts through geckos, hide-and-seek tag and the occasional possum. Spiegel shares his own wonder as he fields FAQs from the fertile, imaginative, earthy minds of his children.

What I really enjoyed was the way Siegel modeled how to talk with your children about serious subjects while at the same time discussing – admitedly in basic terms – some of the more fundamental questions of the Christian faith.

Siegel’s experience as a teacher pays off as he patiently offers insightful ways to think about these often difficult questions and offers a holistic way to think about faith and family.

The chapters really stand on their own so you don’t necessarily have to read the book chronologically. The chapters are also relativly short so it is easy to read them in one sitting. I read the book over the course of a few weeks reading a chapter at night before bed.

If you are your children wrestle with these types of questions, or if you are simply interested in exploring them in this unique way, I heartily recommend this enjoyable and insightful book.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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