Thursday, February 21, 2008

Theology for Itty-Bitties

Did you know that the concept of "asking Jesus into your heart" is not found anywhere in the Bible? Neither is "giving your life to Christ." And yet we often use these less-than-biblical Christianise phrases to explain the glorious act of redemption to children. Our kids need to know the real deal about God for the same reason we do--because it is imperative to answering the questions of life. They need to know that there is a powerful God and that He speaks and acts.

Leading Little Ones to God, by Marian M. Schoolland, has been around for 45 years and is one of our favorite resources for explaining biblical doctrine to our kids. Divided into 14 sections and 86 chapters, it systematically teaches children biblical theology in bite-sized chunks without using weighty seminary words. Children will learn about the doctrines of sotieriology (salvation), harmartiology (sin), ecclesiology (the church), sanctification (spiritual growth), eschatology (future things), among others. We first used this book when our eldest child was in kindergarten and find it engaging for toddlers through about 3rd grade.
It is my experience that children understand a whole lot more than we give them credit for, that they can engage in much more intelligent conversation than we allow them to, and that they need to know the true God of the Bible in His majesty, fury, and amazing love not the one of the cartoon coloring page we give them in Sunday School. Working your way through Leading Little Ones to God is a wonderful way to introduce your children to this glorious God.


anika said...

I heartily agree with your recommendation! But you stop at about grade 3? :) We bought this because we too thought that it was for littler ones, and got it for Buddy (age3), and do this book in the evenings with all the children. I was pleased to see our 6th grader ask some great questions from this, and while perhaps not very challenging to him, I definately is shoring things up, and perhaps filling in any gaps. Up the age friend, :) at least expand it for familys with large gaps in age. :)

Monica said...

I think we have identical bookshelves! We love this one, too. You've inspired me to get it out again, though, and read it to my little ones.