Covenantal Catechism Book 1

Covenantal Catechism Book 1

For Beginners - Genesis to Malachi

by Donald Van Dyken, Harry Van Dyken
2nd Edition, ©2000, ISBN: 9780970525116
Consumable Workbook, 121 pages
Price: $15.95

See series description for full review.

This first book is designed for young children and teaches on a simple level throughout the whole Old testament. It includes text for parents to read to their children, memory verses, review questions, catechism work, songs, and points to remember.

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  All of Scripture Is About Jesus!
Mystie Winckler of Washington, 2/18/2011
The author has the same thesis in every lesson and one thread weaves together the entire structure: God created man, man sinned, God gave man a promise, God kept that promise no matter how Satan and sinful man tried to thwart it. Every story is told from the perspective that it is leading toward and teaching about Christ. There is no “small people can do great things for God,” but rather, “David defeated the enemies of God because God used him to teach his people about Christ would be like.”

The author sprinkles “boys and girls” or “children” throughout his text with liberality, which immediately sounds condescending to our modern ears. I simply left them out when I read, and found that the author was not the least condescending to children. He respected their abilities, their relationship with God (this is written for covenant children and assumes Christian faith on their part rather than preaching alter calls). It calls them to continue in faith, not to get faith, and it teaches them what Christ has done for them, what is theirs because they are in Christ. It assumes personal prayer in their life and encourages them to pray when they are tempted. It takes the children and their faith and their temptations seriously, and I appreciated that.

Because the point of the curriculum is to give a basic overview of the structure and theme of the Old Testament rather than simply enhance familiarity with the stories, many standard “Bible story” events are left out. There is no separate lesson for David & Goliath, although the event is mentioned; there is no Samson, Jonah, Ruth, or Esther; there’s no Ehud or Jael or Phinehas; there is much more emphasis on kings and prophets than is typical in a young children’s curriculum.

Every lesson, in addition to a lesson about the week’s Bible story, has several questions and answers (hence, catechism) that the student is expected to memorize. The questions are primarily information questions (such as ‘Who was the oldest man to live on earth?’) rather than doctrinal. We are already learning the Catechism for Young Children and a few Heidelberg questions and answers, so I did not attempt to add the questions to our memory work docket. Instead, I used them as review questions as we went along.