Christmas break is not far off! Traditionally, Christmas break for our family involves lots and lots of baking as we prepare individual packages of homemade Christmas cookies for each of the families who live on our country road. I also try to squeeze in some time to actually sit down and read without interruption.
I know that for some of you, Christmas break is a time to gather a stack of good reads and consume them before New Year’s Eve. Soon, you’ll curl up in a comfy chair engrossed in one book after another as the world around you fades and disappears.
Biblical Worldview Books for Adults
Here’s a few titles you might want to include in your pile over the holidays. Each book will help to challenge and grow your biblical worldview. If you are an educator, they can help you integrate a biblical worldview in your classroom too!
Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies
Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies by Hillary Morgan Ferrer is a great book for educators, parents, and grandparents alike. This book serves well as an introduction to various worldview perspectives and a guide to interacting with the ideas, as well as people who think according to nonbiblical worldviews. Ferrer explains the purpose of the book is to equip parents and educators on how to address children’s questions and receive training to help friends, family, church members, and neighbors as you communicate God’s truth.
The author has a knack for breaking down concepts and explaining them simply and clearly. Her goal is to help the reader listen well to kids, discern their thoughts and questions, and then guide them to think critically and biblically about the post-Christian culture they face. ROAR is the acronym used by Ferrer as a pattern of interacting with people who think from a nonbiblical perspective. The acronym stands for Recognize the message, Offer discernment, Argue a healthier approach, and then Reinforce through discussion, discipleship, and prayer. Reading this book is like having a conversation from one parent/educator to another.
Rooftop Perspectives: Disciple Your Students Toward Faith, Develop Their Love for Wisdom, and Cut the Puppet’s Strings
I read this book by Eric Reenders based on a recommendation from a friend who supported my work in teaching teachers how to provide biblical integration in the classroom. The book is not widely known, and you won’t find it on the list of top ten good reads. Still, I enjoyed this book.
Reenders tells an entertaining story about an American teacher who sets out to teach in an international school in China. While fulfilling what he thought was his calling, he becomes increasingly frustrated with how his Christian school doesn’t seem to be teaching in a way that provides biblical integration. The author first helps the reader see why it is necessary to teach kids to think from a biblical worldview. Then he presents a biblical worldview framework that teachers can use to discover worldview ideas. It’s a good book for someone who needs a basic understanding of the concept of a biblical worldview and who enjoys story over nonfiction text.
The Sensible Shoes Series
Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown has deeply impacted my spiritual development. Sensible Shoes is the first of a four-book series and you have to read all four books in the series! This is a fiction novel about four women who meet at a spiritual retreat they attend. These four women are at various levels of spiritual development and have very different personalities. All four come to the retreat with individual needs, desires, and motives. Their lives all pivot after attending that weekend.
The plot follows the individual lives of these four women who eventually become unlikely, but close friends. The reader steps into each woman’s life as she navigates through marriage, career, and family circumstances we all face in one way or another. Just watch out! You will very quickly identify with one or two characters as if the story was about you. I found myself marveling at how Garlough Brown was able to describe my personal inner thoughts and struggles through two of the characters. It was almost as if she had a secret window into my heart and head and then used that information for the character in the book.
Here’s the best value of this series. Throughout the story, this group of women learn to practice specific spiritual disciplines that help them understand God, his will for their lives, and how much he cares for them. As the women apply several spiritual disciplines using specific passages of Scripture, the reader is invited along to participate. If you are willing in heart, mind, and will, you will begin to apply some of the same spiritual disciplines as the characters. Don’t miss this one!
Books For Children That Foster A Biblical Worldview
I’ve offered a few suggestions for titles to add to your stack of reading material, but what about the kids? Here’s a short list of some of my favorite books for kids that can help establish basic, but true understanding of God and His plan for all of creation.
The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden
This book by Kevin DeYoung retells God’s story of creation and his plan for redeeming the fallen world. Beginning with the Garden of Eden, main events of the Bible are used to tell explain the need for a savior. The illustrations add meaning to the presentation of people’s constant disobedience, until the end when the Snake Crusher returns. Illustrations and everyday language help to make this walk through history more understandable for 5-8-year-olds.
The Biggest Story ABC
A companion book The Biggest Story ABC by the same author is a board book that looks like a typical alphabet book a parent or grandparent would read to 2 or 4-year-olds. It retells the story of God’s redemptive plan using some of the same episodes in the version meant for older children. The difference with this early childhood version is that the sequence of the story is prompted by the 26 letters of the English alphabet. As you teach the names and symbol for each letter, you tell the story of God’s creation, Man’s fall, the salvation provided through Jesus’ death, and our future in heaven.
God and Jesus
God by Devon Provencher and the companion book, Jesus by the same author are board books. When a book is printed as a board book the implied age group is infants to 2 years old. However, these books are more appropriate for 3 to 5-year-olds, depending on their level of language development. Each of these books has a name for God or Jesus, respectively on each page with a sentence explaining why He is called that or does that thing. Some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced, but as a read-along type of book, the advanced words could be explained or restated as synonyms. I like putting actions to the words to get the little ones physically involved as we read the book together. The actions also help convey the meanings of the words.
The Children of the King
The Children of the King is an oldie but goodie written by Max Lucado. It’s the story of orphaned children who have been adopted by the King of the village. The children are convinced by the townspeople to prepare a gift to offer to the King when he comes to take them home. As each child begins to work diligently to use their talents to prepare a special gift, the youngest sibling seems to have no talent to use in preparing a gift. The story shows how the youngest ends up having the best gift of all.
Like a favorite bedtime story that is requested to be read on multiple occasions, this book has an easy to listen to story, but can be used to teach many lessons. First, read it just to delight in the story. The next time, have your children pay attention to the characteristics of the King. What was appealing about him? The next time reading the book, pay attention to why the youngest’s gift was the best compared to the others. Finally, draw the comparison between the King in the story and Jesus.
A Tip for Read Aloud Books & Biblical Worldview…
Worldview and biblical truth are understood best in the context of relationship. As parents recline with their children with read-aloud books, a natural discussion can most often take place. These organic discussions allow children to ask questions and for parents to pose questions that draw attention to the nature of God and the nature of people. Guess what? That’s worldview.
When God created, he created through language. Language requires thought and relationship. What better way to engage our image-bearing characteristics than by reading and talking about books! Even Christ’s birth was announced through language. “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased’.”
May you and your family and friends experience the thrill and joy of Christmas as you praise God for his gift…Jesus.