Skip to main content

Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids?





Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? How Moralism Suffocates Grace by Samuel C. Williamson

With such a provocative title, this little book by Samuel Williamson is sure to interest those who invest their lives in Sunday school and in raising children for the Lord.  The premise of the book is that until we understand the amazing grace of God in every part of the Christian life, our children will succumb to a lethal injection of moralism that will cause much ruin in their lives.  Sam writes in the beginning, “Grace means we are both unworthy of God’s love yet profoundly loved by him nevertheless, both at the same time” (v).  Some preachers tend to focus on the unworthiness of humans, thus squashing any hope of adequately seeing God’s love, whereas some miss the sin part to focus on the love aspect.  Yet, both elements are essential to the gospel message.

The problem with many Bible curriculums for kids is that they bring to bear an unbiblical basis on morals.  Be like Abraham or Paul fails to see the full picture of these men of the Bible, for they sinned also.  God pursues us in his love from the very beginning.  Sam has a wonderful way of thinking about the stories of the Bible.  He writes, “David was a murdering adulterer, and God loved him and pursued him, Abraham was an idol worshiper, and God love him and pursued him” (6).  Sam goes onto write, “Our heroes weren’t loved because they were good; they became good because they were loved” (6). 

Sam indicates in the next chapter that our kids are leaving the church because they can’t distinguish the gospel from mere morality (11).  Willpower fuels morality and thus heaps burdens on our people that they can’t possibly bear.  Mere morality deals with external behavior but not the motivations of the heart, this is why we must get to the bottom of things before we give direction in godly living, including morals.  Yet, the greatest enemies of Jesus were the moralists (29).  How do we get beyond moralism, but through an understanding of grace, our sin, and God’s sacrificial giving of his Son.  When we are motivated by grace, we see others sins as another opportunity for God to reveal his mercy, just as he did for us. 

I really appreciated this book as a way to remind me of God’s grace and as a way to remind me that I easily slip into moralism.  My only criticism is that I wish it was longer.


Thanks to Beliefs of the Heart Press and SpeakEasy for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…