Years ago I watched a movie that, in a sense, took my breath away. It had beautiful imagery and a storyline that gripped your heart and swept you into the characters’ thoughts, feelings, joys, and sorrows. However, this particular movie told a story that, when examined with a discerning eye, made sin appear beautiful and satisfying. Hence, great storytelling can be a powerful gift, but we must be aware of its potential dangers.
We must especially keep this in mind when evaluating Bible story resources for children.
A Powerful Gift
Great storytelling can bring the Bible alive, as it were, and encourage the mind and heart to be in awe of God as we see His ways and purposes unfold. It can promote love and trust in Jesus, and it can fuel a desire to walk in His ways. In short, great storytelling can be used to convey and explain essential doctrines of the Christian faith by communicating them in a compelling, exciting, memorable, and comprehensible manner for children.
“Great” storytelling can also communicate skewed, confused, or even false doctrine in a compelling manner. Beautiful imagery, fanciful language, and creative scenarios can captivate a child’s mind and heart. If these qualities take precedence over biblical truth, it can leave a lasting, faulty impression regarding God’s holy Word. And, depending on the extent that the storytelling deviates from the clear words of Scripture, this can be downright dangerous.
Fortunately, there are some wonderful Bible story resources available for children. But there are also many to be avoided. Here are seven questions to ask when evaluating story-based Bible resources:
So, parents, grandparents, and others who minister to children, let’s be careful and biblically discerning in choosing Bible story resources for children!
Also, you might be interested to note that Truth78 is in the process of publishing a brand new Bible resource. More Than a Story will take children on a chronological journey through the Bible with a God-centered, gospel-focused, discipleship-oriented, theologically grounded perspective. This family-engaging book, written by Sally Michael and fully illustrated by Fred Apps, will include more than 150 chapters covering key stories, events, people, themes, and literary genres of the Bible. You can find out more about it here.