Book Review – Big Truths for Young Hearts

They say the true test of understanding a subject is being able to teach it to others.  I’ve discovered through parenting that being able to teach a subject to children is an even greater test.  You have to strip concepts down to bare basics in order to build further understanding on top of this foundation.  For many topics this is a challenge, perhaps none more important and challenging than theology.  We want to instill a knowledge, love and understanding for the things of God in our children, but quite honestly often stumble and search for the right words to teach them.

In Big Truths for Young Hearts, Bruce A. Ware does a phenomenal job of presenting these truths of Scripture in a manner that is understandable to children.  The book, targeted to children ages 9 and up, covers the following topics:

-God’s Word and God’s Own Life as God
-God as Three in One
-Creator and Ruler of All
-Our Human Nature and Our Sin
-Who Jesus Is
-The Work that Jesus Has Done
-The Holy Spirit
-Our Great Salvation
-The Church of Jesus Christ
-What Will Take Place in the End

Each topic is covered in six, bite-size chapters, with a couple of discussion questions and a relevant memory verse at the end of each chapter.  While Ware writes from a more Reformed theological perspective, much of what he presents is very basic doctrine and does not go into doctrines such as election, predestination, or various interpretations of eschatology.  Because of this, he is able to focus more on the fundamentals of the Christian faith without getting bogged down in what, for the target age group, could be very confusing nuances.

I appreciated the respect that he shows to his young readers and their parents by not watering down each topic with the overuse of illustrations.  Too many children’s books oversimplify the truths of Scripture to make the book more appealing. Ware goes straight to the Scriptures in patiently discussing and explaining harder-to-grasp truths.  I will say that this book is probably not one that an average 9-year old could sit down to read alone and understand completely.  I would recommend, as Ware does in his introduction, that parents and children read it together, allowing time for “discussing these rich truths.” (p.14) It is also good for discussion in group settings such as in a Sunday School class.  Our church uses this book for a Wednesday evening children’s class and both teachers have commented to me that the book is an excellent resource.

Big Truths for Young Hearts is an excellent book for teaching the fundamentals of faith not only to children, but for any person seeking to get a better grasp of Biblical doctrine.  I would highly recommend this book without reservation.

(Many thanks to Crossway for providing a review copy of this book.)


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