Wow, that was an interesting afternoon! 45 minutes of quick fire questions on anything from angelology to theodicy to vegetarianism to universalism and everywhere in between! Not that any of it was expressed in those terms of course, eight year olds aren't able to to use that kind of language, but some good questions none the less.
Are angels real? How old are they? How many are there? - So I talked about special messengers from God and that no one can ever be quite sure if they've seen one as they most probably look like people. I never did read about the arguments over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, so I have no idea how many there are... ;-)
How did we get here - creation or evolution (I tried to offer theistic evolution, without using that language, as a middle course rather than seeing the two as diametrically opposed). Why did God make the universe? Why are we here?
Why do we grow old? What happens when we die? Do animals go to heaven? Will we be near people we know in heaven? How big is heaven and will it be a squash? Are heaven and hell kingdoms of the dead? Is there a devil? What is heaven like... or hell? I told them I have no idea what heaven (or hell) might be like but that the Bible promises something that is free from suffering, sorrow and death. I talked about a God who wants everyone to experience that but who respects our freedom to choose otherwise, that I hope hell is empty but that it's not for me to know. I talked about death as being a bit like birth - a transition from one form of living to another, and of a God of mercy and love.
Who invented Christianity (no, I didn't say St Paul)? If Jesus was a Jew how come his followers are Christians? How did God raise Jesus from the dead?
Loads of great questions - including the ubiquitous "who made God" - and then right at the end the one that only someone has who has listened carefully to what you've said and who knows a few Bible stories can ask: "if God is merciful, how come Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden?" I spoke about choices and consequences, of how God provided them with clothes and food, but that this was as much as anything a story about growing up: free will means we can choose our actions but that if we make bad choices we can't expect there to be no consequences. Not quite a traditional 'fall' hermeneutic but one that I felt was appropriate and honest.
I think I did more theological thinking in 45 minutes than I normally do in a year. It was great fun - and I hope they found it helpful. Quite what they'll go home and tell their parents I don't know, but hopefully I was an 'ok' ambassador for Christ.