What is the Bible? Many today think of it as a rulebook of does and don’ts. Others see it as a storybook to encourage children to be brave or kind. But the Bible is so much more than that.
This week, Jack Klumpenhower joined us on the program and talked about how to preach the good news of Jesus to yourself as well as your family. I found out that Jack used to teach Sunday school with a moralistic bent—he wanted his students to be brave like Daniel or David. But one day he sat in a class where an older teacher showed how all of the stories in the Bible point to Jesus … and a light bulb went off.
This is why Jack wrote a book called Show Them Jesus. He wanted students, parents, and everyone else with a heart to know God to see that the Bible is one epic story about the Lord saving His people. And this story centers on the person and work of Jesus.
So, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my favorite quotes from this book with you. If it interests you, I want to encourage you to dig deeper and listen to my full interview with author Jack Klumpenhower.
1. “It’s good and necessary to study God’s commands and to work hard to obey them. One of their functions is to show us how to live – and what it looks like when love for God and others shapes all we do. However, this becomes a problem if it gets to be pretty much the only reason you open the Bible. This is because another function of those commands (and of the whole Bible) is to show us our sin and drive us to believe in Jesus.”
2. “We make a mistake if we think kids are saved by hearing the good news and trusting Jesus, but then grow as Christians some other way.”
3. “The Bible is one epic story about God saving his people. We can’t rightly understand any part of it unless we understand the context. This epic story centers on the person and work of Jesus. If we cut individual stories off from the Bible’s central story arc about Jesus, we miss the main thing the Bible wants to say-and fashion Bible stories that aren’t biblical.”
4. The first point of studying the person of Jesus must always be to wonder at him, not to copy him. There are teachers who show kids how astounding Jesus is only to tell them, “You should be like that.” Ouch! Those kids quickly get to where the last thing they want is to hear another way that Jesus is better. They learn to resent Jesus. Then our chance to wow them with Jesus is lost. Yes, Jesus is our example. As kids come to love him, they will want to be like him. When that happens regularly, wanting to be like him will follow naturally enough.
5. If you teach Bible lessons, you do need to come up with your own lesson content. Even if you use published lessons-even if they’re good, Jesus-centered lessons-you still need to set them down for a time. You need to go through the process of studying, thinking, and finding wonder in Jesus yourself.
6. No how-to-live lesson can wake the spiritually dead. You might as well be teaching corpses. If a kid is still dead in self-love, such a lesson will, at best, only get him to work harder at a selfish, manipulative sort of religion. But new life springs up where the good news is proclaimed. It hatches loving wonder at Jesus and true gratitude to God. ‘For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes’ (Romans 1:16).
And, finally, I’d like to close with a quote from my interview with Jack on what he calls a “God Report Card.” Listen in, because it may not be what you think it is. Listen to the short clip, and download the report card here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As the leader of the Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” A former secular journalist, Charles has worked for United Press International, and as a press secretary for two former U.S. senators. He and his wife, Janet, have authored several books, including Missing Jesus. Charles’ latest book is Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus: The Real Story of God At Work.
Most of the thoughts above are taken from broadcasts of Haven Today. Corum Hughes serves as the editor of this blog and coordinator for Haven’s social media content. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Corum lives in Boise, ID with his wife Molly.