Archive - March, 2015

Singing the Catechism

The other day while spending time with my grandchildren, I created a simple little song to emphasize that God made everything. They helped me add various verses to include the different animals and things God has made. Later, while driving them home, 3-year-old David began singing the song aloud. With just one 10-minute exposure to a new song, he had it memorized. Not surprising since it is well documented that music can help children and adults alike to memorize.

Now imagine your children memorizing something much more substantial: the Catechism (read here why that’s important). Jim Scott Orrick has created a great resource bringing together music and the Catechism: “The Baptist Catechism Set to Music.” Here is a brief overview:

  • CD format
  • 114 questions from the Baptist Catechism (a Reformed and Baptistic question & answer teaching tool)
  • musical pieces are simple and brief, serving as a helpful memory tool

You can listen to a sample here:

 

 

 

Reaching Their Hands with a Biblical Worldview

ID-10035106When I think of “biblical worldview,” I almost exclusively think of the mind—training children and students to think biblically about all of life. But Timothy Paul Jones reminds us that biblical worldview in not just about training the mind—it should also serve to train the hands.

In a biblical worldview, the training of children is worldview training. This training includes far more than merely increasing children’s biblical knowledge or involving them in a community of faith. Moses commanded the Israelites to teach their offspring to view all they did (“hands”) and all they chose (“forehead”), as well as how they lived at home (“doorposts”) and how they conducted business (“your gates”) within the all-encompassing framework of a God-centered worldview (Deut. 6:8-9).”Wisdom” in Proverbs was conveyed from father to child and included not only knowledge about God but also practical skills for engaging with the world in light of God’s truth. Skills in craftsmanship, leadership, and a broad range of other fields all fell under the heading of wisdom, which begins with “the fear of the Lord” (Exod. 31:3, 6; Deut. 34:9; Prov. 1:7). Persons outside the believing community may possess these skills, but only the believer sees them as God intended, as signposts pointing to the order and glory of God. There is no biblical warrant for separating the training of children into “secular” and “sacred” categories, with one handled by the world and the other superintended by parents. God is Lord over all of life.

(“How a Biblical Worldview Shapes the Way We Teach Our Children,” www.timothypauljones.com.)

(Image courtesy of Worradmu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Relationship AND Doctrine

ID-10067239

Lately, in both children’s and youth ministries, there has been a renewed emphasis on the necessity for having a genuine, heart-felt relationship with Jesus. This is well and good—a hearty “Amen!” But sometimes there may be a subtle (or not so subtle) message also communicated with this emphasis on relationship: Doctrine doesn’t matter that much. Or, doctrine “stifles” relationship. So what should we emphasize to children and youth? Here is a helpful note from John Piper:

Sometimes it is necessary to stress that Christianity is primarily a relationship with Jesus rather than a set of ideas about Jesus. The reason we do this is because no one is saved by believing a set of ideas. The devil believes most of the truths of Christianity. We need to stress that unless a person has a living trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord, all the orthodoxy in the world will not get him into heaven.

But if our stress on the personal relationship with Jesus leads us to deny that there is a set of truths essential to Christianity, we make a grave mistake. There are truths about God and Christ and man and the church and the world which are essential to the life of Christianity. If they are lost or distorted, the result will not be merely wrong ideas but misplaced trust. The inner life of faith is not independent from the doctrinal statement of faith. When doctrine goes bad, so do hearts. There is a body of doctrine which must be preserved.

(From sermon, “Contend for the Faith,” copyright ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.)

(Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Who Wrote the Bible?

God's Word Cover

In her newly released book, God’s Word , Sally Michael gives children a simple illustration to help answer the question, “Who wrote the Bible?”:

How would you put a screw into a piece of wood? What would you use? You would use a tool called a screwdriver. You would direct the screwdriver, putting it where it needs to be, turning it the right way, and stopping when the screw is tight. The screwdriver would not put in the screw by itself. Your hand would turn the screwdriver—it would direct and guide it.

This is similar to how the Bible was written. God was the author. But He used men to do the writing. They were like tools in God’s hands. God directed them so they would write His Word. God is the real author, but He uses men to write exactly what He wanted to be written.

(copyright©2015, page 20)

Page 2 of 2«12