Monday, March 28, 2016

Critical Conversations by Tom Gilson

This is an essential book for Christian parents. Teens are facing a situation like never before. They are surrounded by pro-LGBT messages. Parents need guidance in helping their teen grow up affirming biblical truths. Gilson has written this book for parents who don't know what to say when their teens have questions about what they are being told and what the Bible says.

He has divided the book into three parts. The first part gives us an overview, the big picture, and how we got here. He also includes the case for marriage between a man and a woman. The second part is about the relationship between parents and teens, such as keeping the conversation healthy with practical suggestions on how to keep the dialog open. Gilson encourages parents to keep God as a priority. He also writes about helping your teens relate to their LGBT friends. I was surprised and impressed with Gilson's explanation of the teen's rights and how to use them wisely. He is honest about the risk involved and advises practicing humility.

The last section contains short and practical ways to deal with the challenges students face. He writes about what a parent might do when their teen is called homophobic or intolerant. He covers many topics, such as “God made me this way.” He includes proposed dialogs a parent might loosely follow in a discussion with their teen.

I really liked Gilson's answer to Matthew Vines' claim that Paul didn't know about loving, committed homosexual relationships when he wrote Romans. Gilson does an excellent job of showing how Vines' claim is wrong.

I am impressed with this book. Today's Christian teens who want to practice biblical truth are doing so in a hostile culture. They will not receive encouragement from the world and greatly need it from their parents. This book gives parents a way to dialog with their teens and work through many issues. Gilson has added a resource list at the end of the book. He reminds readers that prayer is essential in all these endeavors.

Gilson is clear that this book is not for parents to use when their own child is questioning his or her own sexuality. For help in that area parents must look elsewhere.

I highly recommend this book to Christian parents who want to help their teens affirm biblical truths in a culture that may be opposing those very truths.

You can find out more about the book and read an excerpt at

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Tom Gilson is senior editor for apologetics with The Stream ( and was formerly national field director for Ratio Christi Student Apologetics Alliance. He has written articles for a number of magazines and blogs at both Thinking Christian and The Point.

Kregel Publications, 200 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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