We are excited to introduce our new video courses for 2021! This year we have seven new courses that span from Grades 1–11. Each course is age-appropriate and, above all, is designed to excite a love of learning in your students. For more information about these new courses, see our new 2021 Catalog! [Read more…] about New Homeschool Video Courses
How do Bible study skills relate to biblical worldview shaping? First, you must understand that a biblical worldview consists of three ingredients:
(1) the larger story of the world,
(2) the beliefs and values that grow out of that larger story, and
(3) the cultural action or personal behavior that should result from those beliefs and values.
Second, once the purposeful aim for a series of Bible courses has been established, there needs to be a practical method in place for accomplishing that aim of worldview shaping. It’s important to teach children and teens a good process for studying the Bible to ensure that their beliefs and values (ingredient 2) truly grow out of the larger biblical story of the world (ingredient 1) and thus lead to appropriate cultural participation and personal behavior (ingredient 3).
Here’s a simple inductive Bible study method that you can teach your children:
- Observe (what the Bible passage says)
- Interpret (what the Bible passage means)
- Apply (how the Bible passage should become meaningful)
The method can be tailored to multiple age-appropriate learning levels. Each step in the process can be more or less detailed as appropriate.
Example of an Inductive Study
You can use what God said to His people through Isaiah to teach your children a particular value—repentance. But that value will only make sense to your children when they accept the big story of Scripture (Creation, Fall, Redemption) regarding the reality of their condition before God. Only then will that value be personally adopted.
Example of how the inductive method can make this passage understandable and practical in terms of a biblical worldview:
- Observe (identify the belief/value): This step involves asking your children (at different age-appropriate levels) to mark or point out the word pictures and phrases that describe or show repentance.
- Interpret (understand and give significance to the belief/value based on the reality of the big story): This step involves asking your children to explain the word pictures that describe genuine repentance. Why is genuine repentance important to God?
- Apply (put the belief/value into practice): This step involves asking your children how the teachings on repentance relate to their own lives. Are there any parallels in their own lives that compare to the examples described in the passage?
Why the Order of the Inductive Method Is Important
Observing what God’s Word says and interpreting what it means must precede the application of its morals to life. If the process is reversed (beginning with application, skipping careful observation and interpretation), then Scripture gets twisted to fit into a preconceived human system of morals. Or the real significance—of relating properly to God in accordance with the larger reality of the world—gets lost.
The controversies surrounding the 2016 presidential election have at times made me want to shut politics out of my life until the election is over. But each time, I decide against that because I know how important it is. As Christians, we can’t hide from the issues since many directly impact us. It’s our responsibility to make sure that both we and our children are well informed and ready to cast our votes now and in the future. There is no better time than an election year to be teaching children what the political process of our nation involves and how to evaluate the issues and candidates from the perspective of a biblical worldview.
Our Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption textbook (pages 239–40) says it well:
God laid the foundation for government as He laid the foundation of the earth. Government has been part of God’s good and glorious plan from the beginning. . . . Governments have power from the Highest Power. But governments are made up of fallen people who twist that power in frivolous ways.
Government in itself is not bad and is something that has been planned by God (Romans 13:1). So it’s important for all Christians to understand their nation’s government and participate in it appropriately. However, it’s also true that all governments are made up of fallen individuals, making it equally important for us as Christians to be well informed about what the Bible has to say about the issues and the candidates who take positions on those issues. It’s also our responsibility to make sure our children are prepared to do the same.
I strongly encourage teenagers who are looking forward to voting in this election for the first time to work though Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, and Redemption. It takes the biblical values they have been hearing from you as well as from BJU Press curriculum and applies those values to politics, government, and adult life. It also can help you prepare them to defend their Christian faith against the many challenges they’ll encounter as they transition into college and adult life.
Take a look inside the book here.
A couple of years ago, my family got involved in a weekly children’s Bible club. We started helping because we wanted an opportunity to serve together as a family and to teach our children how to minister to other people. Since then, Bible club has become much more than a Saturday morning ministry opportunity. We have come to love the dozen or so children that hop on the bus to come every week. We bake them treats. We pray for them. We spend time trying to figure out how to teach them more effectively.
All of the children in our Bible club have been raised in poverty. Most of them don’t come from intact families. Few have ever attended a church service. Some of them come because they like seeing their friends. Others come because they sense the club leaders care for them. Some of them come because they like to play games and eat brownies. Whatever the reason, we’re glad whenever they show up.
Shortly after we started this ministry, we noticed that some of the girls who came rarely wanted to participate in the organized game time. In order to better connect with them, we started having a craft time. They love doing crafts, and we’ve found that it’s a great time to teach basic Bible truths and reinforce some of the things my husband is teaching in our Bible lesson time.
This Christmas season, we’re decorating small Christmas trees with a dozen ornaments centered around one theme—the names of Christ. It is our hope that this craft will not only help them understand who Jesus Christ is but that they’ll be able to use it to tell their families about Christ.
You can use this craft in your own ministry setting or even with your own children. Make one ornament every day or make several at once—the pacing is really up to you. But before you make each ornament, take the time to read the associated Scripture passage and talk about the significance of the title. The goal is not just to have pretty ornaments; the goal is to better understand our Savior.
Jesus is the Word
John 1: 1–3
- Materials needed: foam craft sheets (black, white, and green), red ribbon, hole punch, scissors, tacky glue
Jesus is the Light of the World
Materials needed: foam craft sheets (black, yellow, orange, red, white), glitter glue, scissors, hole punch, ribbon, tacky glue
Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Materials needed: foam craft sheets (yellow, orange), googly eyes, scissors, tacky glue, hole punch, ribbon
Jesus is the Way
Materials needed: foam craft sheets (blue, green, brown), gold glitter glue, cotton balls, scissors, tacky glue
Jesus is the Good Shepherd
Materials needed: pipe cleaners, beads, ribbon
Jesus is the Lamb of God
Materials needed: assortment of white and black buttons, white card stock or craft foam, scissors, string or ribbon, tacky glue
Jesus is the Vine
Materials needed: purple paper, green pipe cleaners, pencil (to curl paper around), scissors, hot glue gun, ribbon, tacky glue
Jesus is the Bread of Life
Materials needed: salt, flour, lukewarm water, wax paper, plastic straw, knife, ribbon
(1) In a medium bowl, mix ½ cup salt, 1 cup flour, and ½ lukewarm water.
(2) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3–5 minutes.
(3) Form “French bread” shapes, using a knife to add detail.
(4) Poke a hole in the top using a plastic straw.
(5) Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (or parchment paper).
(6) Bake at 200 degrees for 2–5 hours, depending on thickness (or you can let them air dry for several days).
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life
Materials needed: salt, flour, lukewarm water, wax paper, plastic straw, ribbon
(1) Make salt dough (see steps 1 and 2 under for ornament #8).
(2) Shape dough into one large ball and another smaller one.
(3) Place large ball on cookie sheet covered with wax paper, and use thumb to make a “cave” indent.
(4) Place smaller ball off to the side of the “cave.”
(5) Poke a hole in the top using a plastic straw.
(6) Bake at 200 degrees for 2–5 hours, depending on thickness (or you can let them air dry for several days).
Jesus is the King of Kings
Materials needed: empty toilet paper or paper towel tube, scissors, sequins or jewels, tacky glue, ribbon
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega
Materials needed: craft popsicle sticks, paint, paintbrushes, foam craft sheets (any color ), sticker letters, hot glue gun, ribbon
Jesus is the Savior
1 John 4:14; Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11
Materials needed: applesauce, cinnamon (4 oz. container), plastic wrap, rolling pin, cross-shaped cookie cutter, wax paper, plastic straw, ribbon
(1) Mix 1/3 cup applesauce with container of cinnamon.
(2) Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until ¼ inch thick.
(3) Remove top sheet of plastic wrap.
(4) Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
(5) Peel shapes away from bottom layer of plastic wrap and place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
(6) Poke a hole in the top using a plastic straw.
(7) Bake at 250 degrees for 1–3 hours, depending on thickness.
May you find comfort in all that Jesus is this Christmas!
Find other Christmas activities on the BJU Press blog.
I remember my parents being criticized by many family members for taking us out of the public schools. But just like thousands of other Christian families today, my parents didn’t want their kids influenced by the agenda of modern society. Today’s exodus of Christian families from the secular public schools is reminiscent of another pilgrimage.
When the Pilgrims came to America, they left Europe so that they could be the primary influence on their own children. It was a difficult first year, but the Lord provided. As they offered up thanksgiving, other deeply committed Christians who wanted the same opportunity for their children started pilgrimages to North America. Soon other communities popped up in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with the intent of establishing “a city on a hill.” These parents wanted to be governed by God’s law and to train their children to live the same way. It was their desire that future townships could be shining examples of communities committed to serving God.
Committed to Education
These Puritan parents and leaders were committed to godly learning. They believed that reading was critical to knowing God through His Word and to following the laws of their townships. So parents took the time to teach their children how to read in spite of the difficulties of frontier life.
However, the commitment to education began to diminish within twenty-five years. Parents were beginning to be negligent in teaching their children reading and Christian doctrine. So in 1642, the Puritan leaders in the Massachusetts Bay Colony gathered to establish a law requiring that parents teach their children to read and “that all masters of families do once a week (at the least) catechize their children . . . in the grounds & principles of Religion.” [text of Massachusetts Act of 1642]
Five years later, the Puritan leaders gathered again and outlined a plan to provide assistance to parents for the education of their children. They believed that “one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, [was] to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures” by preventing children from learning to read. [text of Massachusetts 1647 “Old Deluder, Satan” Act]
So the Puritans provided a teacher for every township with fifty families to help them in teaching their children to read and write. If the township had a hundred families, they made provision for constructing a school building. Parents made a nominal contribution to pay the salaries of the teachers, but they were still responsible for their children’s education. All of this learning was motivated by a desire that children know the Lord through reading His Word.
Imagine what the Puritans would think if they walked through the halls of today’s schools. How would they respond to the discovery that education has been ripped from its intended purpose—service to God? I think the Puritans would do what many Christian parents are doing today and take their children away from the evil influences. After all, they were willing to take their families into the wilderness of Massachusetts to give their children a thoroughly Christian education.
But even after that arduous journey, Puritan parents still faced challenges in providing education for their children. Yet they were willing to make the sacrifices they believed were necessary to ensure their children received that biblical education.
Providing our children with Bible-based education is vital, and BJU Press supports families like yours and mine in making this kind of commitment to Christian education by creating textbooks that present every academic subject and every aspect of life through the lens of what God has to say about it.
Are you ready to make the commitment?