Sunday, April 4, 2010

Big Truths for Young Hearts

Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God by Bruce A. Ware

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bruce Ware is a teacher of theology in the seminary and in his home. At bedtime Ware would take what he was teaching his seminarians and break it down into bites small enough for his children. In Big Truths for Young Hearts Ware provides a rich resource for children and their parents to learn the great truths of the Christian faith.

The book contains several excellent illustrations of complex truths. For instance, on the issue of how Jesus could experience temptation even though his divine holiness meant he could never sin, Ware suggests that we need to answer two different questions with two different answers. The two questions are: 1) why it is that something could not happen, and 2) why it is that something did not happen?

Then comes his illustration of the distinction he has made. A swimmer trains to break a world record and swim over 70 miles continuously. He is accompanied by a boat in case his muscles cramp and he drown. However, he accomplishes the feat without any assistance from the boat.

Why is it that the swimmer could not have drowned? Because the boat was always there to pick him up if needed. Why is it that the swimmer did not drown? Because he kept swimming!

In relation to Christ, then, the reason he couldn’t sin is that he was fully God (he possessed the divine nature). The reason he didn’t sin is that “as a man, empowered with the Spirit and filled with God’s word, he used everything that was given him by the Father to remain obedient” (p.119). In this way we can maintain that Christ could never have sinned, and yet he understands better than we do the power of temptation.

Other truths that Ware did an especially good job of explaining are
• How Jesus emptied himself without compromising anything of his divine nature (p.112)
• How Jesus’ death at the cross defeated Satan (p.134)
• Why the resurrection was necessary (pp.137-138)
• How baptism is better illustrated as a movie than a picture (p.203).

The book also includes a rich section on the Holy Spirit. This book made me even more passionate about teaching these wonderful things to my own children, and to the children and teens in my community.

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