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The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New Hardcover – October 21, 2015
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From the Publisher
Introduction to Christianity for Children
Written with a profound simplicity that children will understand, yet with a depth and beauty that will move adults to worship.
Beautiful illustrations and creative artwork that in themselves will hold and capture the attention of children.
A Note to Parents
The author has intentionally created a vivid resource, full of analogies and word pictures that help kids grasp difficult theological concepts and understand how each truth is connected to the larger redemptive story of the Bible. Built-in adaptations and activities help parents with younger or older kids make the material accessible and engaging for the whole family.
Features a durable hard cover format.
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over twenty years. He is the author of numerous resources for churches and families, including the Gospel Story for Kids series. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Andy is a writer, illustrator, and editor. Andy lives in Minnesota with his wife, Becky, and their two children, Charlie and Jane.
“Few tasks are of greater importance than the discipling of children. Christian parents and Sunday school teachers, committed to biblical fidelity, cannot neglect the tremendous task of teaching children the great truths of Scripture. Marty Machowski’s The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New is a wonderful new book that will equip parents for the task of discipleship and also help children immerse themselves in the Christian worldview.”--R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“I love good children’s books, and this one is truly beautiful, both in its words and pictures. Machowski meets children where they are and tells them the greatest story of all. The best part is, it’s true!”--Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“The Ology has quickly become my favorite introduction to Christianity for children. Machowski has brilliantly written this systematic theology as a story—the great Story. He writes with a profound simplicity that children will understand, yet with a depth and beauty that will move adults to worship. And he makes the gospel crystal clear. This book is a wonderful resource for family worship or children’s devotions.”--Jon Bloom, Chair & cofounder, Desiring God; author
“Appealing, truthful, and comprehensive, Marty Machowski has written The Ology as a systematic theology accessible to children. I can see parents reading this book while their children snuggle beside them or sit on their lap and listen. Little ones will enjoy looking at this beautifully illustrated volume as their parents read it to them. It’s also the kind of book you can read to your children again and again. When they are old enough, they’ll want to read it on their own. Can you ask for more in a Christian book for children?”
Don Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality, Associate Dean for the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Every child—and every parent—is already a theologian. The question is what kind of theologian we will be. Will our children grow up learning sound doctrine, rightly dividing the word of truth? Or will they end up fashioning a god—and a theology—in their own image? There are many good theologians in the church today, and many teachers who love children. But few are a combination of both like Marty Machowski. I am delighted to commend this engaging resource to help all of us know and worship the God of the Bible!”
Justin Taylor, Managing editor, ESV Study Bible; coauthor, The Final Days of Jesus
“This marvelous book works on every level: It is thoroughly biblical, doctrinally sound, gospel-centered, well written, and exquisitely illustrated. Though intended for children, The Ology will also be of immense help to their parents, relatives, and friends. I intend to buy this book for my grandchildren and read it together with them over and over and over again. I can’t give The Ology a higher endorsement than that!”
Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; secretary of the Evangelical Theological Society; pastor and author
“This well-illustrated book clearly and logically introduces theology for children.”
Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis
“The Ology is a great answer to the dilemma of how parents can introduce their children to biblical theology. We must go beyond Bible stories and ‘be nice’ morality. Memorizing a catechism seldom works in today’s world. Marty Machowski brings solid reformed theological truth into a most attractive and understandable format. Parents everywhere will rejoice to see their children ‘get it’ as they work through The Ology together.”
Gerry Breshears, PhD, Professor of Theology, Western Seminary, Portland
“From the beginning God revealed himself to his people that they might know him, love him, and be his beloved children. Theology was for all of God’s people, not just seminary professors! The Ology takes us back to this earlier understanding, using story and art to make scriptural truth understandable and real to all of God’s children, regardless of age. I eagerly look forward to reading The Ology with my grandson!”
R. J. Gore Jr., DMin, PhD, Professor of Systematic Theology and Acting Dean Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, SC
“Marty Machowski has provided parents with a valuable resource to raise up their children ‘in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’ (Eph. 6:4). The Ology is biblically saturated, theologically rich, clearly written, and helpfully illustrated. May the Spirit use this book to establish the next generation on the rock of God’s Word (Matt. 7:24–27) and produce disciples who follow Jesus for a lifetime!”
Matthew S. Harmon, Professor of New Testament Studies, Grace Theological Seminary
“The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New is a special book. It provides a visual means for teaching a child the basic, biblical doctrines that we as believers love. With the need for greater biblical and theological literacy in the church today, I believe that The Ology can engage and teach both children and adults together. Children’s catechisms are a great tool for memorizing theological concepts but The Ology, with it beautiful and creative art work, as well as its vibrant storytelling style, provides a sound learning tool in book form that will stimulate listening, learning, questioning, and discovery. God’s truth will come alive to the families who use it. I highly recommend this solid work for use in teaching and training children in basic Christian doctrine. Children will enjoy learning theology from The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New!”
Dr. Rod Culbertson, Jr., DMin, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC
“Systematic theology can conjure up images of big, dusty books. Can it be engaging for kids? If you say no, The Ology will surprise you. Discover what election has to do with earthworm chunk ice cream . . . or eschatology with an ant flying a car. Marty Machowski is an artful storyteller. Andy McGuire’s illustrations are beautiful. Their children’s theology is both surprisingly winsome and biblically faithful. Thanks be to God!”
Jared Kennedy, Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY
“I love Marty Machowski’s books, and even better, so do my children. The Ology is another beautiful and creative book meant to expose children to the deepest and most important truths. I am reading it with my children, and would encourage you to do the same.”
“Many parents struggle to teach their children systematic theology, or even lead family devotions. The Ology will help you do both. Marty has made another significant contribution to biblically faithful, gospel-centered, creatively designed, accessible materials that help parents raise their kids not merely to know about God, but to have a relationship with him through Jesus Christ.”
Bob Kauflin, Director of Sovereign Grace Music
“I’m always on the lookout for resources that will serve my grandkids, and I’ve just found another one. Marty Machowski has done it again! The Ology takes huge truths about God, Scripture, and Christ and him crucified and makes them accessible and appealing to young minds. I’ll be passing this one out to all twelve of my grandkids.”
C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville
“The Ology turns the study of what Bible students recognize as ‘Systematic Theology’ into lessons blended into a story for kids 6–12 years of age. Covering all the major topics of the Bible in a comprehensive way, it draws kids in with vivid illustrations, both in words and pictures. I know this is going to be a big hit for parents who want a family worship tool, and for their children to grasp the key subjects the Bible raises. A perfect companion to Marty’s other books.”
Dennis Gundersen, Author, Grace & Truth Books
The Ology is a beautifully illustrated book. That in itself will hold the attention of children. But the words carefully unfold the teaching of Scripture in a way that doesn’t talk down to children but talks to them, lifting up their understanding of the triune God as Creator and Redeemer. Marty Machowski has given the church a valuable resource for parents and others wanting to disciple the young.
Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., ThD, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus
Westminster Theological Seminary
About the Author
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over twenty years. He is the author of the Gospel Story for Kids series, which includes The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, and the Gospel Story Curriculum, as well as the Advent devotional and curriculum Prepare Him Room. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
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Here are some reasons why I like this book (not in any specific order):
1. Practical - I love how it uses up to date everyday life to incorporate the understanding of the big picture. For example, (page 152) "A delicious root beer float as only two main ingredients, root beer and vanilla ice cream. These two ingredients combine to form an amazing dessert. Did you know that faith in Jesus has two ingredients? To become a Christian you need to believe, which means trusting that Jesus is God, died for your sins, and was raised from the dead. And you need to repent, which means you need to turn away from your sin and from going your own way and follow Jesus. This is what the Bible means by faith -- believing and turning. Of course, even faith is a gift from God. We don't do anything to earn faith. The first time you turn to Jesus in faith, you become part of God's family. From then on, we have the Holy Spirit so we can keep believing and repenting whenever we sin. That's what it means to follow Jesus. Have you turned toward Jesus and asked him for forgiveness? [Acts 20:20-21, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Acts 17:30, Hebrews 6:1, Acts 2:38]" [Special note from me: There's more to chapter 42 that is not copied above. I only copied 1/2 of it.] So in this -- the author gives a simple illustration of the root beer float and brings it into a discussion about the topic of faith. This is something that we as parents can do in everyday life and bringing something that we are doing and use it as a teaching opportunity.
2. The questions in the back -- In the back of the book each of the chapters have questions that go along side of the text. For example, the questions in the back for the above portion of 42. Faith is, "How do we know we are truly children of God? What three things did Paul tell King Agrippa he did to make sure he was faithful to the message he was given?"
3. The answers in the back -- Oh the answers! Ever so helpful as we teach our little ones. There's a section for the questions AND a section for the answers. For example, the answers in the back for the above questions, "Question 1's Answer: We know we are children of God if we love him and carry out his commands. 1 John 3:9-10. Question 2's Answer: Paul preached that people should repent, turn their hearts to God, and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. Acts 26:20."
4. Nicely organized in a logical manner -- There are 71 chapters (or points of topic) that the author covers and 11 major topics the author cover. The major topics are: a. The Ology of God, b. The Ology of people, c. The Ology of sin, d. The Ology of the Promise and the Law, e. The Ology of Christ, f. The Ology of the Holy Spirit, g. The Ology of Adoption into God's Family, h. The Ology of Change, i. The Ology of the Church, j. The Ology of the End Times, k. The Ology of God's Word. I really like how the author organized it.
5. Parents Guide -- As parents we are called to teach our children. The author has explained how we can use this book to best teach our children.
6. Holds attention of myself as an adult and also my 3-year-old -- So I was reaching when I bought this book and was thinking that she would dive deep like I did. But honestly, when we were reading it for the first time she kept asking me to read more and she sat and listened.
7. (Very important to me!) Thoroughly biblical, doctrinally sound, gospel-centered, ... well written and beautifully illustrated. -- Excellent! This book is staying TRUE to scripture and has the big picture in mind as it describes the details with such power and strength. This is huge for me -- it's hard to find good children's books that have some good "meat" and not watered down too much. I want something that is going to make my children think and learn about how awesome our God is! This book is an excellent teaching tool.
Over all, I give this book my highest number of stars. I am looking forward to diving deeper and reading this book over and over again. The author did a beautiful job at creating a wonderful story that captures the mind and hearts of little ones and adults. It is a wonderful addition to our resource library for family worship and our family's books of devotion collection. I pray that this book ministers to you and your family as it has ministered to my family and me.
Blessings to all.
So many programs and books simply teach Bible stories and/or how to live the Christian life, but fail to explain what truly sets us apart from the rest of humanity seeking absolution. Many people reach adulthood never understanding what they believe. How can we share the Good News if we can't explain the basics of our faith or even know what they are? There is SO MUCH essential information that we need to learn and we need to start teaching our children when they are young. Children, rather all believers, need this basic framework upon which to build their lives. If we neglect these areas, the world WILL fill in the gaps, which will lead to errors in thinking and eventually in action. That and we will be susceptible to false teaching.
I read this at night along with The One Year Classic Family Devotions book for my children ages 15, 10, and 9. In the morning we use Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade, which is a 6 day a week devotional book based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which is also an amazing resource. Also check out The Lamb, by John Cross. That is the same concept as this book in more of a story format. There aren't specified divisions as in this book.
Our goal should be to pass on the baton of faith to our children and there are many excellent resources out there. This book is one of the best I've come across. Give it a try and take your time working through the material and discussing it. You'll be so glad you did!