Teaching God’s Truth
It can seem like you're taking a step backward when you write a book that retells Bible stories, rather than just the Bible story itself. And yet we have good reason to do that in that God gave teachers to the church. Read in Ephesians that when Christ descended, he gave gifts to men, and among those gifts were pastor-teachers.
Think about all of the special presents that the risen and ascended Lord could give to his church. Chief among them are those who can teach the word. And we see this, of course, in the Old Testament. The priest was supposed to be a teaching priest. God sent the prophets.
God, throughout history, has always given not only his word to people but also has given qualified men who might teach others. And so hopefully, what you're doing with a storybook—that's retelling the story of the Bible—is teaching.
We, too, can actually learn things about the Bible from kids' books.
Any of us probably wouldn't think twice about reading a book that gives Old Testament theology, or is a New Testament Bible commentary, or a systematic theology. We'd all give thanks for those books and say, Well, isn't that great? I can learn something about the Bible. We, too, can actually learn things about the Bible from kids' books.
And that's what I was trying to do and what other authors of children's literature have tried to do. I certainly want everyone to understand that if you only can read one thing, obviously you should read the Bible and test everything against the Bible. But insofar as God means to teach us not just from his word, but by teachers from the word, a faithful summary of those stories can sometimes draw out elements we didn't hear or help us see things that we miss. And especially for kids, stories can present it and teach it to them in a way that they can really understand.
Kevin DeYoung is the author of The Biggest Story Bible Storybook.
Kevin DeYoung talks about how Christians (parents and non-parents alike) can help children to trust Jesus, embrace the Bible, and love others—even those with whom we disagree.
When we teach the stories of the Bible without helping them connect those stories, we’re giving them puzzle pieces only without the context of the larger picture.
Try a simple experiment. Take a small child on your knee. Respect him. Do not see him as something to prune, form, or mold.
Jesus told his glory-seeking disciples to become like children, to welcome kids, to protect them, and to value them as a kingdom priority.