I just started reading his book with my kids, and am impressed by the way the authors introduce basic theology to kids. In an interesting, simple way, the book follows the questions of the catechism and helps children understand the Christian faith. It is written strongly from the Reformed perspective, but will apply to any Bible-believing theology. Most books for kids seem to have an oversimplified message, but this book can be read with kids who are ready to ask some of the deeper questions about our faith.
I wish this book had more scripture references, maybe one or two for each set of questions, to emphasize that these thruths are found in the Bible. There is one verse at the end of each section, but I found that insufficient for my older children, who want to know WHY that is the answer to a particular question. I will find some references on my own, so that my kids will learn that all doctrine is Scripture-based. This is the reason I only gave 4 stars out of 5.
Also, the section on baptism is about infant (covenant) baptism, so if you belong to a church that teaches believer's baptism (on profession of faith), you will either want to skip it or substitute your own church's teaching. But, that is only one small section, and I did not see it as enough of a reason to discard the rest of the book.
The main goal for our family is to hand down our Christian faith and heritage to our children. Of course, they won't automatically "be" Christians just because they are our children. They have to come to a point in their lives where they realize they need Christ as their personal Savior, and desire to love Him and serve Him.
Using books like Big Truths for Little Kids will help enable this to happen in your own family!
Designed for ages 4-10, your family will find the poignant stories and catechism-type questions that will help children easily begin to understand more about God and biblical truths. If you are concerned about your children having a biblical worldview, this book is an excellent tool to begin that kind of training in your home.
I wish I'd had this book when my girls were quite a bit younger. Now that they are ages 12 and 14, this book is a little bit too simplistic for them, although the catechism questions are still very appropriate.
How does this book work?
Well, it's designed to be a long-term project with your family! You will not spend hours memorizing the catechism questions and answers, but this will happen over time, as a byproduct of using this book.
Each time you sit down with your children to read from this book, you will read through one story and read through the questions and discuss the answers with your children.
Each day, as you move to a different story, begin by reviewing the questions for story #1 or another previous section of the book. Then, ask each question in the new story, say the answer, and ask the child to recite the answer with you. Don't try to force your children to memorize the answers.
Read the new story with your children, and read through the questions and answers for the new story.
Each time you read from the book, memorize additional answers. The truths and applications will be reinforced, and your child's understanding will expand. Make this a special time with your children - and have fun!
When you reach the "Let's Pray" section, read the verse, or let the child read it with you. Use the very words of Scripture in your prayer, and this will help show children that it's beneficial to pray using the language of Scripture as he or she prays.
I recently received the book, Big Truths for Little Kids from the Crossway Homeschool Book Review Program, but it actually is not a new book to me at all. I read through this devotional book with my daughter several years ago and liked it so much that I bought two more by these authors: Discovering Jesus Through Genesis and Discovering Jesus Through Exodus.
The purpose of this book is to teach children that they are created for God's glory, to help them apply this truth, and to teach children their need for God's grace. This is done through the continuing story of two children, Cassie and Caleb, and their daily life and interactions with others. Each of the 36 chapters begins with simplified questions and answers from the "First Catechism." Although it is recommended that the children memorize the answers, we just reviewed them without requiring memorization. A story follows, that reinforces the questions of the day. Finally, discussion questions and a prayer help the children to apply the truths to their lives.
My daughter says, "This book makes it so much fun to study God's word!! I think that a lot of little kids would love this book and would be influenced by it!
I would suggest this book for ages 4-10. The story is simple enough to be enjoyed by young children, but the theology is deep enough to engage and benefit much older children. The lessons taught are consistent with reformed theology.
I received this book free from the Crossway Homeschool Book Review Program in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.
God's word practically applied to the lives of you
July 8, 2012
Wayne S. Walker
What is the most important thing that a child can learn from his parents? Eight-year-old Caleb and his younger sister Cassie live with their dad and mom. The whole family is striving to be godly. They all regularly attend church services, and every night the parents teach the children about Jesus using the catechism. Caleb's best friend Angus and his family attend the same church, but their other friend Daniel and his family, who recently moved into the community, don't go to church. So Caleb and Angus ask Daniel to go to church with them. Will he be allowed to go? How will his parents react? And what will be the result?
The reader needs to be aware that the authors come from a highly Reformed (Calvinistic) religious tradition. Susan Hunt is the women's ministry consultant for Christian Education and Publications of the Presbyterian Church in America. Her son Richie Hunt is the children's and youth minister at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Dallas, GA. Bible believers from other religious backgrounds may not necessarily agree with some concepts and practices set forth in the book, such as salvation by praying to ask Jesus into your heart, total hereditary depravity, tithing, keeping the "Christian's Sabbath," following the Ten Commandments, and baptizing infants. In fact, many of us would prefer to instruct our children simply from the Scriptures rather than using a man-made catechism.
However, putting the issue of the catechism aside, the thing I really like about this book is that the 36 stories illustrate how the truth of God's word can be practically applied even in the lives of young children and also how important it is for parents to teach their children what the Bible says. Youngsters have a much greater capacity to learn than a lot of people think, so we shouldn't wait until they're older but start from the very beginning to inculcate within them both Biblical morality and Biblical doctrine. Each chapter concludes with a "Let's Talk" section with questions about the lesson and a "Let's Pray" section which, rather than having a written prayer to repeat, gives a passage of Scripture and just encourages the reader to pray based upon what that passage says.
I read this to my kids at night and they are so excited for our devotion time. I am the Director of Children's Ministries at our church and I will be giving this book as a gift to each of our parents for Christmas. It is a wonderful book to begin to encourage parents to have that devotional time at home each day. The beginning of theology and deep Biblical truths is so important. These are not basic, dumbed down stories. I love it!