There are some combinations that seem odd together, but surprisingly go well with one another. Often this happens with food combinations. For instance there is bacon and peanut butter or olive oil and ice cream. What about in other things like systematic theology and young children? Surprise of surprises this combination really works. Kenneth Taylor’s Everything a Child Should Know about God does this very thing, introducing a young child to what the Bible teaches about God while utilizing traditional systematic theology categories such as: theology (“What God Has Done”), hamartiology (“The Problem of Sin”), Christology (“Jesus Comes to Help Us,” and “Jesus Wants to Save You”), ecclesiology (“Why We Go to Church”), and even eschatology (“When Jesus Comes Back”).
The book is divided into ten sections of varying length, each covering a different topic of systematic theology. Each topic is broken down into basic truths. This is accomplished with an illustration, a brief explanation of the concept, and one or more questions to reinforce the concept. The format is clear, concise, and engaging for small children.
When I say, “engaging” I mean just that. While being a trained systematic theologian isn’t necessary for using the book, some of your child’s questions may leave you wishing you were. At times I am bombarded with questions about God and Christ from my four year old and three year old. These are welcomed questions; because they make me aware that my children are listening and trying to process what they are hearing, and I believe they also may be evidence of the Holy Spirit working in their hearts to bring them to faith in Christ.
There are some things parents/adults may take issue with like pictures of Jesus or the use of a “sinner’s prayer.” These objections aside, for the parent or adult who is looking for a resource to help one instruct children in the faith, Everything a Child Should Know about God is a valuable tool that will prove helpful and engaging in this task.
Keith Marriner joined LifeSprings in 2009 and serves as executive editor of all IPHC Sunday school curriculum. Prior to that he served at Emmanuel College in a variety of roles, including admissions counselor and adjunct professor in the School of Christian Ministries. He received a B.A. in Christian ministries from Emmanuel College and an M.Div. and a Th.M. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Christian Education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Keith resides in Franklin Springs, GA with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters, Cora and Eleanor.