Critical Conversations by Tom Gilson

How do parents address perhaps the most complicated and contentious issue Christians face in today’s culture with their teens: homosexuality? Tom Gilson’s new book, Critical Conversations, is a must-read. Critical Conversations explains in practical, parent-friendly terms how to have the conversations and answer the questions. It even explains what to do when you don’t know how to answer—and how that could be your best moment ever with your teen. Your teen’s spiritual future is at stake. Critical Conversations can make the critical difference.

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{More about Critical Conversations}

Critical Conversations (Kregel, February 2016)

A Christian parents’ guide to beginning open and honest discussions about homosexuality.

Christian parents need to be prepared to answer the myriad challenges teens might hear in today’s increasingly pro homosexual culture. “Why shouldn’t gays get married?” “Who says gay sex is wrong?” “Does the Bible actually say there’s anything wrong with homosexuality?” “Don’t you care that kids are being bullied just for being themselves?”

To start the discussion, Gilson provides a brief history of the issues beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He explains how and why cultural attitudes have reversed on this subject in such a short timespan, leaving Christians scrambling for answers.

This is perhaps the most complicated and contentious issue Christians face in today’s culture. Most churches are poorly equipped to handle it; parents are even less prepared. The good news is that parents need not have pat answers ready before they dive into conversations with their teens and preteens on this difficult topic. Learning together―parents struggling through these issues alongside their kids and leading them to biblical answers― has relational benefits.

Answers are important, though, so manageable, nontechnical answers to common questions surrounding this issue are provided, as well as a guide to further resources.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Tom Gilson

{More About Tom Gilson}

Tom Gilson is the Senior Editor and Ministry Coordinator specializing in Christian apologetics and inspiration for the daily online news and insight website The Stream (stream.org). Previously he had served with the Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance. He is the monthly Worldview and You columnist at BreakPoint Online, and has written articles for Discipleship Journal, Touchstone Magazine, and Salvo. He blogs at Thinking Christian (thinkingchristian.net). When not studying or writing he enjoys canoeing, sailing, and long walks in the woods. He lives with wife Sara and their two college-aged children in Lebanon, Ohio.

Find out more about Tom at http://www.criticalconversationsbook.com.

Press Kit

Click to download the Critical Conversations press kit.

Click to download a Q&A with Tom.

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A parents’ guide to honest discussions about homosexuality

Tom Gilson encourages Christian moms and dads to speak hard truths with compassion

2/24/2016 || Seattle: Parents of teens today may have a tougher job in front of them than parents of any other generation in recent history. While immorality has always existed, the Western world has never seen such a time of moral confusion, especially regarding sexuality, gender and the definition of marriage. To help parents cut through the lies and political correctness and find a way to impart truth to their teens, Tom Gilson has written Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens (Kregel/February 27, 2016/ISBN: 978-0825443961/$15.99).

This is one of the most complex issues Christians face today, and it’s rife with landmines. In Critical Conversations, Gilson describes the efforts by some to paint Christian beliefs as hateful, making many believers hesitant to speak truth for fear of being seen as homophobic. Even teens growing up in faith-filled homes can be suspicious of how Christians treat LGBT people. Gilson says this can separate them from their church, their parents and most importantly their belief in Christ.

With a foreword by Sean McDowell and endorsements from apologists including Alex McFarland, Critical Conversations is a dependable and highly practical guide that will help parents understand the history of this issue and its far-reaching cultural and spiritual implications. Gilson also uniquely provides clear but compassionate and biblical answers for two dozen anti-Christian objections, enabling parents to counter the questions teens face in the media or even with their classmates at school. Parents will be able to help equip their children with answers to popular arguments such as: “If you disagree with homosexuality, you’re a hater,” “You’re on the wrong side of history,” “The Bible doesn’t even mention gay marriage,” and many others.

Encouraging parents to avoid pat answers or the “Bible brush-off” of “The Bible says it. Believe it,” Gilson calls parents to take their teens seriously and do their homework. “If Mom or Dad will talk with them respectfully about this topic, they’ll know they’re being treated seriously,” Gilson advises. “If there are hard questions the parent can’t answer, that’s actually OK — as long as the parent stays in the process and seeks to uncover the right answer alongside the teen.”

The stakes couldn’t be higher for moms and dads, and despite it being what Gilson calls the “perfect storm” of awkward parent-child conversations, he believes with proper equipping, parents can navigate these crucial discussions, drawing their teens back into closer relationship with themselves and their family and giving them the confidence they need to stay connected with Christ and Christianity.

Learn more about more about Critical Conversations and Tom Gilson at www.criticalconversationsbook.com or on Twitter (@ThnkngChristian).

Advance Praise

“Tom Gilson is a wise and masterful guide through an emotional and theological minefield, full of wisdom and compassion, scripturally sound and eminently practical. Critical Conversations fills a critically important void.” ~ Dr. Michael L. Brown, author of Can You Be Gay and Christian?

“A veteran apologist and ministry strategist who delivers realistic plans for imparting biblical truth to this generation, Tom Gilson is one writer whose insights I never miss — and this may just be his most significant work ever.”

~ Alex McFarland, director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics, North Greenville University

About the Author

Tom Gilson is the Senior Editor and Ministry Coordinator for the top conservative daily online news and insight website The Stream, and for years he’s interacted with those of differing viewpoints on his blog, Thinking Christian. A 36-year veteran of ministry leadership with Cru, BreakPoint and Ratio Christi, Gilson holds a Master’s degree in organizational psychology. He’s the author of Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens, as well as more than 150 articles found in publications such as Discipleship Journal, Touchstone Magazine and Salvo. He also served as the lead editor for True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism (Kregel). Gilson speaks regularly on topics relating to faith to national conference audiences.

When not studying or writing, he enjoys canoeing, sailing and long walks in the woods. He lives with wife, Sara, in Lebanon, Ohio. They have two college-aged children.

Keep up with Tom Gilson at www.criticalconversationsbook.com or on Twitter (@ThnkngChristian).

Suggested interview questions

—You describe the content of your new book, Critical Conversations, as the “perfect storm” of awkward parent-child topics. What elements combine for making discussions on homosexuality so difficult?

—Parents sometimes avoid addressing tough subjects such as homosexuality and gay marriage with their kids. Given how difficult it is to talk about, why would a parent even want to have these “critical conversations”?

—How can a tough topic such as this one actually help build parents’ relationships with teens?

—In what ways is parenting teens different today than 20 or 30 years ago? How did our culture decline so far, so fast?

—What advice do you have for handling this topic in a way that’s age-appropriate for teenagers?

—Some parents may even struggle with understanding certain issues themselves. How does Critical Conversations help prepare parents for these difficult conversations?

—How is the design of Critical Conversations different than other parenting books?

—To get a better understanding of the third section of the book, could you share a few examples of conversations that are included?

—Christians are often painted as being prejudiced and out of touch for their beliefs. Is there a way to speak truth about homosexuality without being perceived as hateful or homophobic?

—Why is it such a popular belief that Christians hate homosexuals simply because they disagree with their lifestyle?

—What are some ways parents can prepare their children for the possibility they could be bullied for their beliefs?

—How should parents coach teens on being wise in manner and timing when making a stand for their convictions? For example, when and where is the appropriate time and place?

—If you had to simplify your argument in support of biblical marriage into a few sentences, what would they be?

—Describe the “Bible brush-off” and how parents can avoid it during discussions with their teens.

—What are the eternal and cultural implications for helping Christian young people understand this issue?

—What should parents do if their child has questions about his or her own sexuality or gender identity?

To request a review copy of Critical Conversations, to schedule an interview with Tom Gilson or for more information, please contact Audra Jennings, audra@litfusegroup.com.

Buzz

“Tom Gilson is a wise and masterful guide through an emotional and theological minefield, full of wisdom and compassion, scripturally sound, and eminently practical. Critical Conversations fills a critically important void.” —Michael L. Brown, Dr., author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? and host of The Line of Fire radio broad

“A veteran apologist and ministry strategist who delivers realistic plans for imparting biblical truth to this generation, Tom Gilson is one writer whose insights I never miss―and this may just be his most significant work ever.” —Alex McFarland, director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics, North Greenville University, T

“Simply put, if you have children, you need to read this book.” —Alan Shlemon, author and speaker for Stand to Reason

“Tom Gilson’s book is unique: it provides thoughtful, concise ways to explain these issues to our children. If you have children, you owe it to them to read this book.” —Jay W. Richards, PhD, author and assistant research professor, The Catholic University of America

Reviews