A Sonlight mom wrote last month that her daughter's study of different religions is "giving her great inner conviction." Praise God! Here is the longer story:
I continue to be incredibly impressed and excited every day about what my 11-year-old daughter is studying [in Core F: Eastern Hemisphere]. These past two weeks we have been studying Islam verses Christianity in history, while also reading a fiction book about a woman surviving life in a harem. In [the Bible component of Core F] we are studying Lee Strobel's book about the evidence for Christ. As we wade through these waters, I get a little skittish wondering if teaching my daughter about Islam, Muhammad and the passion of that faith will lean her away from what I know to be true. I know she has to make her own decision one day, but of course as her mom, I want her on truth's side. I was so grateful for all of the evidence Sonlight added in the parent's notes, and for bravely including all of the books to show all sides of the religious issues in the Middle East.
The impact on my daughter surfaced during a conversation we were having. I asked her point blank: "How do YOU know that the Christ we follow is the one to follow, and that he is the Son of God?" She said, "Because Muhammad is dead and Jesus is alive." Yeah!
I really do believe that her studying the different religions of the Eastern Hemisphere this year is giving her great inner conviction. Also, the Mother Theresa book opened her eyes on how to treat people of different faiths. It's all so timely because we are rubbing shoulders more with different religions, especially as a mosque has moved into our little mid-America suburb.
– bobbie100, Feb. 2014
This is exactly why we study different religions in Sonlight. We want to help students know why they believe what they do, and to prepare them to interact with people of different faiths.
We certainly don't portray other religions as truth. Instead, we study them so that when we meet someone who is Muslim (or another religion), we can converse intelligently and respectfully.
Sonlight student Bobby J overlooks a city in Central Europe where he traveled with his family to share Jesus with people who don't know Christ.
When we don't know about other religions, we often fear their adherents. But we don't have to approach people in fear just because they are different. They are people like us, who happen to believe differently. We want to be able to understand where they are coming from, and share with them that Christianity has a valid perspective. We want to be able to lovingly share that Jesus is good news for them, too.
In our increasingly globalized world, your children will undoubtedly encounter people of various faiths, if they haven't already. I think they are best prepared for this when they're at home, with you. I love what another mom recently shared:
I want to be able to discuss other religions with my children. What better way for children to learn about worldly issues than in a safe environment taught by a parent? We recently learned about Buddha. It was fascinating to learn how that whole religion started and that it came from a positive place. I learned right along with my son. We had a great discussion that while Buddha was a nice man, he was not to be worshipped.
–boyandgirl, March 2014
As this mom discovered, Sonlight's approach to studying various religions gives wonderful opportunities to talk with your children about what you believe and why. And you don't have to be trained in Christian apologetics in order to discuss this with your children. Your Instructor's Guide shows the way as you help your children see that Jesus is different from the gods and prophets of other faiths.
I pray that your Sonlight adventure blesses you with opportunities to learn alongside your children as you help them grow strong in their faith. May they grow up to be informed, loving ambassadors of Christ!