One of the most critical educational problems of our times is that, strangely, we do not read books—good, enduring books. We read much, especially on screen, regarding information on the internet. But we do not read the kind of books that could truly heal our wounded hearts, and that could satisfy our deepest longings and intellectual hunger.
The source of all this problem is that we do not read the Scriptures, the Bible. Perhaps you read them, at church, maybe even in your Bible studies. But, in our times when our way of thinking is so molded by the trends around us through social media, it is easy for us to interpret the Bible according to our cultural biases, and not the other way around.
The Bible is a versatile book. It is designed to do so many things. It instructs, rebukes, reproves, and trains us in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Clement of Alexandria, one of the early church fathers, says that the Word of God comprehensively meets our needs by persuading our hearts to be receptive, healing and encouraging us, and instructing us with the truth.
This past Wednesday night, many Christians across the country watched the much-anticipated movie, The Most Reluctant Convert, the story of the conversion of C. S. Lewis. I was encouraged and challenged in so many ways (another article on this forthcoming), but one was how ultimately it is the truth of God in His Word that set C. S. Lewis free from his “zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds.” It took a while for C. S. Lewis, and several good Christian friends along the way. But it was the Word of God working through them. In sum, since a right use of the vast resources of the Scripture is all important, here are my recommendations for Bible Studies in three categories and various grade levels (A list of specific topics from a biblical perspective or devotional studies is for another time).
Systematic (Topical) Study of Scripture Everything a Child Should Know about God (ages 2–5) The Ology (grade level 1–6) 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask About Christianity (grade level 7–12) Heidelberg Catechism: A Study Guide (grade level 7–12) Westminster Shorter Catechisms (*Veritas is already studying this at 3–6th grade levels) Study of the Gospel The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith (grade level 3–7) The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing (grade level 7–9) The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens Participant’s Guide (grade level 7–12) Christ-centered Exposition of the Bible Stories The Read-Aloud Bible Stories Vol. 1 (ages 2–5) The Big Picture Story Bible (grade level preschool–2) The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings us Back to the Garden (grade level 3–7) The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and the New Testaments (grade level 3–7)