For Christians, drawing a line between "secular" and "sacred" knowledge is absurd. If God created and sustains everything, then any division is at best misguided, at worst pernicious. When we set out to educate our children, then, we don't set out to deal with separate realms of knowledge, but to submit everything we learn to the test of Scripture. If something we "learn" about science or history or even how to educate conflicts with Scripture, we can safely reject whatever it is we learned in favor of what God's Word has to say.
The world mocks this attitude, rejecting it as unscientific, unenlightened, preliterate. But what choice do we have other than to accept the Word of the infinite God over the words of finite man? Everything we need to know is found in the Bible: namely, the source of and way to salvation through God's Son, Jesus Christ. Whatever else we learn presents a new venue for worship and praise, yet we too often use our knowledge to praise ourselves specifically or mankind in general.
Kevin Swanson aims to redirect our gaze away from "human accomplishment" and back to the Word of God. He sees the Book of Proverbs as one of the best starting places for a thoroughly biblical education, since it's essentially God's manual of practical wisdom and knowledge. In order to aid parents in the task of leading their children through the book, The Book of Proverbs: God's Book of Wisdom is a three-volume devotional manual/practical commentary designed more to familiarize families with Proverbs than to investigate it doctrinally.
Each volume covers a number of chapters split into a total of 334 sections. Swanson's analysis is verse-by-verse, with each section covering 2-4 verses through text and reflection questions. Parents read the Bible passage aloud, followed by Swanson's text, and then the family discusses the questions (this is intended as a family venture, not a study for individuals). The explanatory text focuses on our behavior as Christians, rather than getting into the original language, theological subtleties, or controversies.
While you could purchase volumes selectively to cover portions of specific concern, they work best as a unit. Ideas build from one section to another, and though Proverbs isn't a narrative, it's best taken completely. Many of Swanson's questions are particularly soul-searching, and will likely lead to spirited family discussions. If your goal as a family is to grow closer to God and each other, to deny sin and pursue righteousness, The Book of Proverbs is an excellent place to start, both for those with plenty of theological training and for those with very little.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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