Author: Bruce A. Ware
Publisher: Crossway, 2009; 234 pp. $15.99
More than one parent has been stumped by the question, “what should I teach my child about God?” Perhaps having read through a basic Bible story book, the young parent is perplexed about where to go next to teach the truth about God.
Young students have also wondered, “I know I should be reading something that will teach me about God, but where should I start (there are too many choices in the book store to know where to start!)?”
And disciplers also wonder how they might train a new convert to Christ — “I know they need to read the Bible, but what else would be beneficial for them to read?”
This new book by Bruce Ware provides answers to all three questions — written to help parents, it also serves well as a personal study tool for students (junior high through college) and for discipleship and small group circumstances.
The concept for this book arose from Ware’s practice of spending a few minutes at his children’s bedside each night, teaching them the basic doctrines of the Christian faith — essentially teaching the same truths he was teaching in seminary, though at their level of comprehension. His desire in those sessions was more than just teaching truth, but “I also prayed deeply that God would be pleased to enable them to see the glory and beauty of these precious truths.” That same desire still guides the book.
The book covers each of the major systems of theology: the doctrines of revelation, theology proper (doctrine of God), the Trinity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, man and sin, salvation, the church, and end times. Within each large section, he includes six chapters that deal with the main issues in that doctrine in 3-4 pages. So for instance, his chapters relating to salvation are:
- God’s kindness and wisdom in choosing to some to save
- “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
- Declared right in God’s eyes when we believe
- Made more like Christ through all of our lives
- Saved by good works? No — Saved for good works? Yes.
- But must people know about and believe in Christ to be saved?
The value of this book is that while it is written briefly and simply, it is also thorough in the topics it covers. Ware also offers two questions for thought at the end of each chapter, along with a Bible verse to memorize relating to that topic. Further, Ware does a good job of identifying the key truths that need to be addressed within each doctrine. And he articulates them in a way that will enable parents to teach those truths to their children.
This book is an excellent resource — one that I wish I could have used myself when the children were younger, but grateful that I can give them their own copies to use in their discipleship process.
A brief interview with Ware is posted at the Southern Seminary website.