by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager
For the second year in a row, Dr. Dan DeWitt, associate professor of applied theology and apologetics at Cedarville University, has earned a top honor for Christian children’s literature.
His most recent book, “Why God?,” which addresses difficult questions kids have about their faith, has been named one of the top picture books in 2020 by Focus on the Family.
DeWitt earned top honors in 2019 from The Gospel Coalition for his children’s book “The Friend Who Forgives.”
”Why God?” will be featured in the August/September issue of Focus on the Family magazine and will be honored online at FocusOnTheFamily.com/PictureBooks after July 15.
“This kind of honor is humbling because I never thought it would happen,” DeWitt said.
— Dan DeWitt
“It’s also funny because I never set out to be a children’s author," he added. "I’m deeply thankful that people are using it.”
“The Friend Who Forgives” was the result of DeWitt’s publisher, The Good Book Company, commenting that he should make a kids’ version of his adult title “Sunny Side Up: The Breakfast Conversation That Could Change Your Life.”
“’The Friend Who Forgives’ has been translated into seven different languages,” DeWitt noted. “’Why God?’ is being translated into German. When you think about how pervasive skepticism is in Germany, a book that introduces kids to apologetics may plant questions in the minds of kids and adults that might blossom into faith.
“It’s remarkable; none of my books for adults has had that kind of impact. I never expected the children’s books to take off like this.”
While “The Friend Who Forgives” is more of a devotional retelling of the story of the resurrected Jesus meeting Peter and asking him three times to feed his sheep (John 21:15-19), “Why God?” considers the intellectual puzzles that face someone considering faith.
“I think adults are surprised to see the deep, human questions about the condition of the world answered by reading the Bible,” DeWitt said. “Philosophers have spent hours and hours and written thousands of pages and used gallons of ink to answer the problem of evil. The Bible doesn’t answer every riddle, but it does wrestle with these big questions.”
“This book looks at how the big story of the Bible answers those questions, not by chapter and verse in the text, but the ‘Why God?’ is informed by chapter and verse,” he continued. “For instance, the argument from first causes, that every created thing has a cause. That’s a philosophical argument, but it’s also biblical, because ‘In the beginning, God created.’”
DeWitt’s journey with children’s literature will continue this fall, as he gets set to release a new book, “The Bright Light and the Super Scary Darkness.”
“This book will try to tell the whole story of the Bible from 30,000 feet,” DeWitt said. “It’s the biblical story as the battle of light and darkness.” The book is based on 2 Corinthians 4:16 (“‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”).
That book is available on Amazon, and the hard copy version will be released in October by B&H Kids.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Master of Divinity program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.