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Book Reviews > Bible, children > Big Truths for Little Kids

Ray VanNeste

Ray VanNeste
Director of the RC Ryan Center for Biblical Studies and Assistant Professor of Christian Studies

Big Truths for Little Kids
Susan and Richie Hunt
Details: 1999, Crossway Publishers, Amazon.comISBN: 1581341067
Posted: July 3, 2002

As parents of three we are always looking for material that properly handles Biblical truths and connects them well to every day life for our children. Probably the best book we have found so far in accomplishing this is Big Truths for Little Kids, by Susan and Richie Hunt (Crossway Publishers, $12.99). What’s more, this book accomplishes this by combining a catechism with modern day stories. For parents who like the idea of using a catechism but are unsure how to start (like we were) this is a wonderful asset. The book is arranged in about 30 segments with each one containing about five catechism questions and a story which illustrates the truths found in those catechism questions. The stories alone would make this book worth purchasing. The stories flow one from another in an ongoing narrative following everyday life for a family where the mother and father hold family devotions and teach their children the catechism. The children provide wonderful models to your children as they encourage each other in learning (Scripture and the catechism), obeying, sharing their faith, and encountering those who mock their faith. At the same time, the children and the parents are not portrayed as perfect or unrealistic, but you encounter them as they struggle and admit their failures (parents and children). Highlights for us included reading early on in the book of one of the children’s friends being converted and, later, of one child deciding to pray for another child who was particularly difficult.

If the book is worth purchasing for the stories alone, its value is immeasurably increased by the interweaving of the Westminster children’s catechism. We found it to be very accessible to our three-year-old and, in the early parts, even for our two-year-old. The catechism helps you to cover the whole range of basic biblical truth and leads to questions from the children which can be very profitable. Of course, since it is the Westminster catechism and is written by Presbyterians, the baptism section comes from a paedo-baptist viewpoint. One can adapt this in a number of ways. With our young children I just adapted and skipped certain questions. With older children you could easily substitute the baptism section from a good Baptist catechism. A Baptist revision of the Westminster’s children catechism can be seen at http://www.toto.net/npbc/bgcatechism.html (Part 5 contains the section on baptism). As far as I can tell the only significant change in the Baptist revision is the baptism section. This site allows one to view the basic catechism used in this book and allows one to print off the Baptist version for free. The fact that older children will almost certainly ask why you are making a substitution only means you will have an occasion to discuss the issue!

Using the catechism with our children has been particularly meaningful to us as parents (as some of you who are long experienced in this will affirm). Oh the joy, when asking our three year old, ‘Why did God make you and all things?’, to hear him promptly reply, ‘For His own glory [pronounced by him as ‘gwory’]’. Then how sobering to have our little boys repeat after us phrase by phrase, ‘I am corrupt in every part of my being.’ Interestingly when I ask them if they can go to heaven in this state they shout with gusto, ‘No!’ This exercise more than any other has helped to bring home to them their own need of the gospel, such that our eldest has often spoken of his need and desire for a new heart. We have greatly enjoyed and benefited from this book and heartily recommend it to all. This would make a great gift to parents as it would not only provide for training for the children but would also, no doubt, provide much teaching for the parents as well.