Recently a received a kids Christmas catalog from Christian Book Distributors (here it is online). As I thumbed through it, I was surprised at what I found, or more specifically what I did not find. I saw page after page of DVDs, CDs, Christian jewelery (a guitar pick on a chain labeled "pick Jesus" was a standout), T-shirts, sweatshirts, and occasionally, a book or two. In fact, I decided to count - on the first 37 pages of this catalog from a Christian bookstore, there were approximately seven pages of books. On the other hand, there were over seven pages of DVDs and over ten pages selling sweatshirts and T-shirts. It seems as Christians, we are far more likely to buy our kids a shirt that says "rooted in faith" than to give them the tools they need to defend their faith in the face of a hostile culture.
Contrast this to what our kids will see at the local Barnes and Nobles. Sure, there may a small section of DVDs, CDs and gifts, but mostly they will be see books. Lots of books. They may not be able to buy a T-shirt with a quote from Richard Dawkins, but they will see the God Delusion prominately dislayed. Of these two options, Chritian and secular, which do you believe our curious children will take more seriously? Which do you believe will influence our kid's worldview more?
Let me be clear that I do not fault the Christian bookstore here - they are a business. I'm glad they exist, and hope they make a profit to stay in business. It is not their fault that Christians are more apt to buy a DVD they can feel safe to stick into the player than to read JP Moreland. The problem lies with us. How seriously do we study our faith? How have we grounded our worldview? Do we really seek to follow Christ and be his disciple? Is this committment to the truth the kind of thing we wish to advertise on a T-shirt?
For Christmas this year, do your child a favor. Buy him of her a challenging book. Read it with them and discuss it afterwards. Take the time to challenge your kids about worldview issues after they consume secular media. This will last far longer than a T-shirt or a guitar pick.