Much has been said in recent years about teaching the Old Testament from a distinctly Christian perspective — seeing Jesus and the Gospel in all of Scripture. But in this video, John Piper raises an important concern about turning this perspective into a type of simplistic interpretative formula. He says,
… the danger in making a beeline to the cross too quickly and too methodically and regularly is, number one, it'll start to sound artificial. It'll start to sound monotonous. It'll start to be fanciful, because you'll come up with really clever ways of doing things that aren't really there and it'll keep you from seeing important things that are there.
Times are changing at record speed. How are Christians to keep up and rightly respond? How do we adequately prepare our children and youth to stand firm and not be swayed by the deceptions of this present darkness? First and foremost, we must confidently and continuously ground them in the eternal and unchanging TRUTH of GOD’S WORD, which has absolute authority over EVERY aspect and sphere of life.
I have spent the past 35 years teaching children. But looking back on the first five years of that time, I now realize that the resources I was given and the training I received were not designed to reach the WHOLE child. Yes, I provided some biblical teaching (i.e., the curriculum included a summarized Bible story to be read), but it didn’t seem as if I was actively instructing their minds with the Bible, engaging their hearts in a meaningful way, or encouraging and challenging them to specific steps of faith-dependent obedience. I grew increasingly frustrated. Something was missing.
We are earnestly and deeply committed to giving our children and students a theological education that equips them to become mature disciples of Jesus. We believe that involves acquainting them with both the breadth and depth of Scripture—teaching them the whole counsel of God.
This past year, death has been in the headlines like no other time in recent memory. The news media is quick to point out the daily death count attributed to COVID-19…as if the tragic incidence of death is some kind of new phenomenon. The Bible, as always, provides much-needed truth and clarity for both us and our children.
We're excited to announce that More Than a Story: Old Testament is now available, providing parents, grandparents, teachers, and church leaders with an effective and accessible tool for the discipleship of the next generation.
In the following interview, Sally Michael shares her heart for how this book can give children a solid foundation of truth for developing a strong faith in God.
What we do in children’s ministries will serve to either foster theological confusion or bring gospel clarity. What we begin teaching about the Bible, God, sin, Christ, salvation, and the Christian life from preschool on informs and shapes our children’s theology both now and into their adult lives.
What is needed for children to see how true and how glorious, how joy producing is the Christian faith? What will produce in the next generation faithfulness, strength of character, willingness to serve sacrificially—a willingness to go anywhere the Lord might want them to go to be witnesses for Him? What will it take to bring this about in them?
There are many answers to that question. But there is one that is of the upmost importance if children are to grow and have the strength of faith and a joy in the Lord. Consider six reasons why we must pass on to the next generation a high view of God.
Now more than ever, we need to clearly and repeatedly communicate to our children the incomparable message of the gospel in all its depth and breadth. They need to have clear, well-articulated, biblical answers to the most pressing questions.
It is amazing to watch how the world, with all its advanced knowledge, technology, and economic power can be thrown into chaos by a virus, or by a tornado ripping through a major city. We really aren’t as strong as we think we are. Yet events such as these offer parents and the church crucial opportunities to help our children understand God’s good and sovereign rule in the midst of disease, calamities, and disasters.