Review: ‘Big Truths for Young Hearts,’ a systematic theology for children

Communications Staff — April 29, 2009

I used to tell my friends, half-joking, that when my wife and I had children, that I was going to read them systematic theology I lieu of children’s books. After all, we wanted the little Robinsons to be raised in the discipline and instruction of the Lord through the clear presentation of His Word and what better way to accomplish this task?

With his new book ‘Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God’ (Crossway), Bruce Ware, who serves as professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary, has given my children and your children just what I wished for during those pre-fatherhood days: an age-appropriate systematic theology. And what a glorious gift to Christ’s church is this new work.

Born out of Ware’s teaching ministry as it trickled down from the classroom into the home as he and wife Jodi raised two daughters, Big Truths provides parents with a theologically rich presentation of all the major biblical doctrines.

The Wares’ two daughters, Bethany Strachan and Rachel Ware, wrote the forward and admit that they have much to do with convincing their father to publish the book.

The raw materials that make up this work are the product of years of lengthy car trips, daddy-daughter dates, talks around the Ware dinner table and family devotionals. Bethany and Rachel write:

“During our annual summer road trips to see family on the West Coast, Dad and Mom used the time in the car to lead our family in singing worship songs, memorizing Scripture and discussing theology.

‘Dad would often begin the conversation with a question: ‘So, do you think Jesus had to be both God and man?’ or ‘How can God be good and still allow bad things to happen in the world?’ Not exactly laid-back vacation banter, but we loved those conversations. We girls would sit in the backseat of our family Toyota and rack our brains trying to think of a biblical answer, knowing all the while that Dad had one. He was passionate about sharing truths with us that would give us confidence in our faith.”

The result is a work that will steel the backbones of faith of readers young and not-so-young. Big Truths is as comprehensive as it is clear; it begins with the doctrines of Scripture and its author, God—proceeding under the head “God’s Word and God’s Own Life as God”—and covers the entire spectrum of Christian theology from a historic orthodox framework.

Ware unpacks the Trinity, God as Creator and Sovereign Ruler in meticulous providence, human nature and the fall, the person and work of Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation and the church in that order, which is commensurate with the order of theologies written for “big people.”

Ware knows well of what he writes; in addition to being a devoted husband and father and respected theologian, Ware is a stalwart evangelical scholar and devoted churchman. He is a board member with The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and serves as president of the Evangelical Theological Society and elder at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville.

Ware is also the author of numerous other books, including Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance, God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism and God’s Greater Glory: The Exalted God of Scripture and the Christian Faith.

Parents who want to steep their children in the things of God should pick up this book post haste and use it to point their families to the Sovereign Lord whom the Ware children learned of daily in the home. Each section concludes with a set of question for further reflection and a memory verse pertinent to the particular doctrine.

For a Q&A with Ware on his new book, please see

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