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The Bible for School and Home. Rev. J. Patterson Smythe. Vol 3

January 25, 2012

How to teach the Bible to children. I like what he says in the introduction here. He gives several warnings which make good sense to me. I see grown Christians and denominations fall into these traps all the time! This is so fresh and timely to be written in 1872.

The best way to prepare our kids is to allow them to talk freely about differing points of view. Teaching that ignores questions or other views set the child can confound their belief to the point that they may abandon it. Here is how.

This point relies on the first. New insight illuminating the scriptures is found often. So, if we teach theroies as God’s infalliable truth, and yet they are only other’s opinions, the student is going to cling to them as the truth of God. It will be part of their sacred beliefs. Now those theories are often replaced. So what does this narrow teaching to do the student? If they arent careful tinkers, the may abandon their belief. Or they may go into unthinking religious ceremonies, afraid of what they really think. You have only taught them that being axcepted is the most important thing. Because you are acepting only one or 2 views.

He clarifies this by saying all teaching is useless unless you have this as your objective; “to move the heart, to rouse the affections toward the love of God, and the will toward the effort after the blessed life.” Indoctrinating our kids is not our goal. You just end up with pompous kids. Getting them to believe as we do can’t be our goal. The end there is resentment. They know we aren’t God. We shouldn’t pretend by this means. We have to bring it. Show the Gospel to them. When we get into other details we only make them seem bigger than they really are. Everything needs to go back to Christ crucified for me.

I would love to get my hands on Volume 5 in this series. If anyone finds it, let me know.

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