Most people would not pick up this book and think of a seminary text book on theology (for example: Grudem, Erickson) – but this book is just as potent – just in paperback form!
Having the opportunity to work with Dr. Ware at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was definitely a highlight for me during my time there. Seeing the humility and focus on the gospel in which he and his wife lived their lives was a light. The best part of the book, in a way, was the forward which was written by Ware’s daughters. They provided insight into long road trips and family dinners they had with their Dad. Dr. Ware lives this theology book. He just doesn’t teach it in the classroom or preach it from the pulpit; he and his wife model it for their children, even now as they are grown women. They have had a godly example from which to pattern their lives after and as they raise their children by teaching them Big Truths for Young Hearts.
There are multiple uses for this book (and no, one of them is not hand it to a 10 year old and have them give you a book report on it in a month):
1. Read it. Especially if you are a new believer, or know new believers, Dr. Ware puts many difficult theological concepts in terms and with illustrations to make them easier to comprehend.
2. If you are a Dad: read it, share it with your family – even a chapter a week – at family devotion time. It would be a source of encouragement and edification for you. Read the chapter (short 2-4 pages mostly), then have discussion. Makes family worship easier. The end of each chapter even has questions for discussion (so you don’t have to come up with those on your own either). This would be a great tool for Family Worship.
3. Praise. Many times at the end of each chapter, Dr. Ware breaks into a doxology of sorts. The idea that he models here for his readers is that knowing who God is (and Christ, the Spirit, the Church, Man, Salvation, End Times) should warrant our utmost praise! Maybe even break into song!
What I loved about this book is that it gave me broad segments of theology, didn’t try to cover everything, was readable, had Scripture within the text, and gave me many “pierce the heart” moments of conviction. Here are some:
“How foolish we are when we forget to read and study this book. But how wise and blessed we are when we go to this book constantly for instruction, guidance, correction, and help with living life as God wants.” (p 23 – The Bible)
“A grumbling spirit is sinful, because it fails to recognize God’s goodness and kindness in providing for us every good thing in life that we enjoy.” (p 69 – God Provides)
“If our punishment is a small thing, then when we learn that Jesus took our punishment upon himself, we think little of this. But, when we see our punishment as the great and weighty and horrible thing that it is, then it becomes a wonder and a marvel to us that Jesus took that punishment upon himself for us.” (p 99 – Punishment for Sin)
“The Spirit will have a great influence and will provide more direction in our lives as God’s Word “dwells” more and more within us. Our reading of his Word, our time spend memorizing and meditating on Scripture, is one of the main tools that the Spirit uses to help us think, feel, speak, and act in ways that are more and more pleasing to Christ.” (p 167 – Spirit)
“We love many things in this world that we shouldn’t love, yet we don’t love God as we should.” (p 171 – God’s Kindness and Wisdom)
Believe me, there are many other sentences and paragraphs underlined in my copy. Read it. May it be an encouragement to you and may it be a tool you can use to help lead your family in knowing God deeper.