Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Teaching the Bible to kids

Shannon and I participated in our church's VBS this summer -- a first for both of us. It was a great experience and one of the hardest things I've ever done. My respect for folks who do this regularly is huge. Our role was to teach and apply the daily Bible story to children ranging from K thru 6th grade. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to keep the focus on God and the gospel vs. the characters in the story and a moralistic message (the curriculum wasn't a lot of help here).

Wheaton professor John Walton identifies five hermeneutical (a fancy word for interpreting the Bible) fallacies that are prevalent in children's curriculum. They are:

1. Promotion of the trivial
2. Illegitimate extrapolation
3. Reading between the lines
4. Missing important nuance
5. Focus on people rather than God

I'd add that these errors are prevalent in a lot of sermons too, but maybe it's because the preacher learned them in Sunday School.

Hermeneutics and Children's Curriculum by John Walton

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