Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents' Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens

A parents’ guide to honest discussions about homosexuality

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

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.

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 or on Twitter (@ThnkngChristian).