The Bible Story

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Manatee comic

I apologize to all at my absence this week in Children’s Church; I think I caught a sudden summer flu and infected my entire family.

Nevertheless, allow me a brief comment on this week’s catechism question:

Q: What introduces the Ten Commandments?

A: These words introduce the Ten Commandments: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

There’s an important theological lesson here about why we should obey the moral law of God, but let’s reserve that discussion for next week when it is teased out further.

Instead, I want to make a brief point about how we ought not to tell Bible stories to our children but a Bible narrative or THE Bible story. It is often tempting to treat the Bible as an anthropology of fables and adventures for our younger audience but that distorts what we believe it to be. We may think that treating it as a book of heroes and life lessons will make it more accessible or palatable to children, but we then make the gravest error of neglecting the true hero and message of the Good Book.

Children who grow up with this distortion are susceptible to seeing the book as a tome of divination or spiritual answers, like the i-Ching. They may very well be confused or led astray by “difficult” passages or even basic texts like Noah and the Great Flood because they were only told simplified accounts devoid of proper context.

The Bible itself gives us guidance in how it treats highlighted events and relationships as an illuminating framework for understanding the overarching story of salvation. God points out the rescue from Egypt, not to place the new nation of Israel on tenterhooks, but to explain who He is and what is His ultimate plan.

This is useful to keep in mind, not only for the spiritual education of our kids, but our own personal study of the Word.

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