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“What Does The Bible Say About That?”
By Carolyn Larsen
Summary: For Kids Ages 8-12. This book addresses 340 topics and gives a Biblical perspective on each of them. Each topic is one page, and has four sections:
1. “What does the Bible say about . . . ?” – A quick intro.
2. “What the Bible Says” – Biblical passages on the topic
3. “Time to face the facts” – A summary of what the Bible says
4. “Today I will” – A suggested response for the reader.
I’m torn on this book.
On the plus side, I really think it is a good idea to stress to children that (A) the Bible should be trusted, (B) the Bible is a place we should go when we have questions and need guidance, and (C) the Bible has things to say about choices you are making every day.
I also appreciate the fact that every page has two or three passages of Scripture on it.
And 340 is a lot of topics. The author put a lot of thought into it.
But on the negative side. . .
A) There are topics here that I’m not sure a child needs to read about (especially if they are being homeschooled). The very first page is ‘Abandonment’ and discusses the biblical response if a parent leaves the family. I don’t think that I am sheltering my children too much to not want them to have to worry about this happening.
Other topics like this are “Sex”, “boys”, “witchcraft”,and ”the occult”. It must be stated, however, that these topics are handled in a fairly high level way, and the author has pretty reasonable things to say about them. But I wished she’d left them out.
B) It seems like some of the verses are taken out of context. For example, under ‘Hygiene’ the author goes to Matthew 7 – “So every healthy tree bears good fruit but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.”
While there is a wide range of ways this could be interpreted, I don’t think Jesus would think “You should take more showers” is one of them.
And under telephone, it uses John 15:12 – This is my commandment, that you love one another, that your joy may be filled and then goes on to say “Telephones are great for staying in touch with others, and that is certainly something that God wants you to do. However when you’re staying in touch with some people but ignoring the person who is right beside you, that isn’t a good thing.”
Now that’s pretty good common sense, but it doesn’t come from John 15:12.
C) My opinion is that the drawings/cartoons are a little distracting and sometimes a slightly annoying and some times the topics are treated too lightly.
But (back on the plus side) – our eleven year old thought it interesting enough to spend significant time reading. And many of the discussions on the more basic topics (those where the Bible speaks directly about them) are right on. For example, this is true with the topics (Deceit, Decisions, Descipleship, Disease and Doubt just to name those from the D’s) I think we might consider this book to be a very helpful resource if the author had simply left out some of the topics. But as it stands, we would want to be a little careful with it.
My wife and I wrote this review for the review writing program here: http://www.crossway.org/blog