Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Ology: Ancient TruthsEver New (A LitFuse Review)

My latest review item is a Theology book for children. Theology? For children? Really? Theology is a hefty topic for anyone, but teaching it to children is not an unheard of proposition. Consider... 

Webster's 1812 defines Theology as the science of God and divine things; or the science which teaches the existence, character and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice.

Although I didn't grow up in a denomination that taught a Catechism, it is my sense that the purpose of a Catechism is to teach a church's theology. Again, quoting from Webster's 1812 : Catechism: An elementary book containing a summary of principles in any science or art, but appropriately in religion, reduced to the form of questions and answers, and sometimes with notes, explanations, and references to authorities.

So, we can see that various churches have taught Theology to their children for centuries, but a Catechism can be a little difficult to remember (much harder for some than for others).  When tied in to "story" almost everyone can connect the concept to the Scripture. 

What a delight to find this new book,  The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New by Marty Machowski, teaching essentially the same basic Christian Doctrines as might be found in   most Protestant Churches, but in a new and refreshing way, with stories children can relate to and absolutely gorgeous illustrations (that might also serve as a nudge to their memories). 

About the book:
The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New (New Growth Press, October 2015)

A page-turning storybook of theology for kids

In the cellar of the old stone cathedral, Carla and Timothy uncover a life-changing treasure, a carefully wrapped ancient book known as The Ology. What adults might describe as a beautifully illustrated storybook of systematic theology, the kids discover to be a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.

Truth is for kids, not just for adults! So The Ology gives kids of all ages a beginner's theology book to help them understand who God is and how we, as his children, relate to him. Arranged within a traditional systematic theological framework, each truth inThe Ology is also connected to the larger redemptive story of Scripture. The doctrine of God, for example, is presented in the larger framework of creation, where the attributes of God are more clearly on display. The Ology takes abstract theological concepts and makes them easier to understand with the use of creative examples, illustrations, and analogies. The goal is not to say everything that could be said about a theological topic, but rather to share the key thoughts behind a theological concept. The Ology is a starting point to learning theology and aims to create a hunger and desire in children to learn more as they grow older.

Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, this flexible resource includes built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together. Read The Ology to preschoolers, read it with grade-school kids, and let older kids discover the "hidden" truths by reading the corresponding Scripture passages for each section. However you read it, The Ology will give your children a gift that will last a lifetime---a solid foundation of life-changing biblical truth that will point them to the God who loves them and gave himself for them.

 Check out this preview!

A companion The Ology CD from Bob Kauflin and Sovereign
Music will also be available.

Purchase a copy:

 About the author: 

Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over twenty years. He is the author of the Gospel Story for Kids series, which includes The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, and the Gospel Story Curriculum, as well as the Advent devotional and curriculum Prepare Him Room. He and his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Find Marty online: 

A little more from our perspective...

11 Doctrines are covered, with specific chapters or lessons within each Unit, with 71 lessons in total.

  • The Ology of God
  • The Ology of People 
  • The Ology of Sin
  • The Ology of the Promise and the Lamb
  • The Ology of Christ
  • The Ology of the Holy Spirit
  • The Ology of Adoption into God's Family
  • The Ology of Change
  • The Ology of the Church
  • The Ology of the End Times
  • The Ology of God's Word

Each lesson is covered in one or two double page spreads. The text on the page is the story, accompanied by one or two Bible verses that back up the truth being learned. A beautiful illustration on the facing page is surrounded by Scripture References that take the illustration deeper and further.

As mentioned above, there are a number of layers to using the book, from simply reading the story and the verses, to discussing the illustrations, and for older children and adults, looking up the extra verses, and maybe even choosing one or two to memorize.

As my older children have graduated from AWANA (Which in itself presents something of a Catechism in the verses learned in the handbooks), this offers a new, and pleasant way to reaffirm some of the things they learned there, and possibly learn something new.

Already my Eldest (I asked her to look the book over) is delighted by the beauty of the illustrations in this book, and was caught by one in particular~ the lesson on Faith~ which gave her a simple illustration and story to be able to use with the younger children that she helps at AWANA, if they have questions for her. For those who are visually oriented, these beautiful illustrations may be just the thing to help them remember the concept, and maybe even the verses that back it up. Nice!

I can see using this book for years to come, whether with my own children (Aged elementary to high school), or as a part of our Sunday School lessons, and going through it more than one or two times.

Check out what others have to say about The Ology on the LitFuse Page.

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