The Bible's Biggest Truths in Bite-Sized Chunks
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A Little Secret
I probably shouldn’t do this, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This book should have gone by the title, “An Explanation of a Baptist Catechism for Boys and Girls.” Because that’s what this book is. It’s a question-by-question explanation of a Baptist catechism for boys and girls!
But let’s be honest: would you have purchased a book that was called “An Explanation of a Baptist Catechism for Boys and Girls?” Probably not, I bet. So that’s why it’s up to authors to come up with catchy names like “Snackable Theology.” But catchy names aren’t necessarily bad things. I much prefer being called “Andy” over “bald, middle-age white guy.”
One of the problems with naming this book “An Explanation of a Baptist Catechism for Boys and Girls” (besides being mind-numbingly boring) is that word “catechism.” A huge amount of people have never encountered it before. It has a vaguely religious sound to it and might make you think it has something to do with an exorcism for a cat.
What is a Catechism?
The word "catechism" doesn't exactly flow off the tongue. It made its journey to English via the Greek word "catechesis," which means instruction. Used throughout church history, catechisms have been an attempt to instruct and teach believers the foundational truths of the Christian faith in an organized way. The Didache, written around the end of the first century, is a very early prototype of this kind of document.
During the Protestant Reformation, catechisms began to take the form of a long series of questions and answers. Popularized by Martin Luther, big Bible topics were broken down into bite-size chunks. One could even call these theological questions snackable! Well-known examples of Protestant catechisms include the Heidelberg Catechism (1563 AD) and the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646 AD). This format was designed to aid both the church and parents in communicating the core truths of Christianity to their children.
Snackable Theology is based on an old document called “A Catechism for Boys and Girls.” For this book, that catechism has been trimmed down to 79 questions. Most often, multiple questions have been combined into one. In a few cases, questions have been omitted. The unabridged text of “A Catechism for Boys and Girls” can be found at: https://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/acbg.htm
How to Use this Book
I wrote Snackable Theology with a couple of times in mind: dinner time and bedtime. As I envision this book being used, I picture moms and dads reading it out loud while sitting at the dinner table with the family or snuggling with a child before bedtime. On average, each question and explanation takes about 3 ½ minutes to read. Factoring in a few extra minutes for discussion, the whole shebang is finished in under ten minutes. Fitting this important time into your family routine is certainly doable!
For my family, it makes the most sense to schedule our Bible time to take place right at the end of dinner. With a variety of ages and bedtimes, our evening meal is the one moment a day when we’re all naturally gathered together. Most days, we read a portion of God’s Word and talk about it (the Bite-by-Bite devotionals at www.eatyourbible.com are a great resource for this). But one day a week, we study a question from the catechism. Most often, I’m the one reading the whole thing out loud, then leading the family in a quick discussion using the questions provided. However, it’s helpful to occasionally mix things up and give one of my kids a chance to read and lead.
Regardless of what time of day you catechize your kids, be certain to carve out a weekly space in your schedule to make sure it happens. While discipleship sometimes leads to dramatic moments of drastic change, it’s most often found in the ordinary, day-to-day routine of consistent faithfulness. No matter how much we wish we could, parents lack the power to regenerate sinful hearts or sanctify young disciples who might be “rough around the edges.” However, we can make sure that our children are soaked in the Scriptures and then trust the Holy Spirit to do what he’s done for thousands of years: use the powerful Word of God to ignite the flames of faith!
FREE PRINTABLE RESOURCES
All 79 chapters of Snackable Theology are also available as downloadable PDFs, completely free! Feel free to use them at home or in your church's children's ministry. The files have been formatted to be printed back-to-back.
Each of the 79 questions and answers from Snackable Theology are available as printable signs for your child to color and hang in a prominent location in your house.