Ratings (out of 5 stars):
Content Heaviness ⭐⭐⭐
Bite-sized explanation for each theological concept
Ease to Read ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Suitable for teaching children
Scripture References & Explanation⭐⭐⭐⭐
Clear explanation of relevant verses
Case Studies & Application⭐⭐⭐⭐
Good use of stories and analogies to break down concepts
Big Truths for Young Hearts is a comprehensive summary of key Christian doctrines. It is presented in a succinct, easy to understand format, and at the same time rich with biblical truths and rooted in Scripture. This book is a great resource for someone teaching their children theology or discipling a new Christian. Sunday school ministries may also find this book helpful as supplementary material for their curriculum.
The book is categorized into key Systematic Theology themes, including attributes of God, God as Three in One, Our Human Nature and Sin, Who Jesus Is, The Work That Jesus Has Done, The Holy Spirit, Our Salvation and The Church of Jesus Christ. Each category contains six chapters, each covering a different aspect of the theme. Readers will find that the chapters build on one another, and later chapters elaborate and add on to the earlier chapters within the category. Such reiteration and linking of ideas across chapters help reinforce key learnings, and reveal, to a limited extent, the complexity of these theological concepts.
To raise an example from the book, Ware explains the different aspects of Salvation across different chapters under the category of Our Salvation:
Reiterating the concept of faith versus works through these chapters is very helpful for children and new believers to wrap their minds around it. At the same time, it also serves to gradually build up their understanding of theological concepts of salvation, justification and sanctification.
Each chapter introduces one main theological concept, using explanations and analogies that are easy to relate to. Oftentimes, the author recounts a story that he relayed to his children in explaining a topic, and these stories prove to be effective in engaging and conveying key ideas to them. This is precisely what makes this book special - the use of stories and imageries relatable to young hearts (be it children or new believers) to explain big theological truths. While some concepts were mentioned in passing and not explored in-depth (and as such may require further explanation), the breadth of the content is sufficiently comprehensive to gain an understanding of basic truths about God.
Each chapter also includes some helpful references. Readers will find memory verses tagged to the end of each chapter, which serves to highlight the key learning point. Along with the memory verses, the Questions for Thought section may be beneficial to facilitate discussion and translate learning into application for the heart and life.
All in all, “Big Truths for Young Hearts” is effective in explaining big theological concepts in a concise, simplified and easy-to-digest manner, making it a highly recommended book for parents, teachers and ministry leaders, or any believer wishing to gain a beginner’s grasp of theology.