Here are the workshops that Dr. Peter Enns will be presenting at this weekend’s convention in Cincinnati:
DR. PETER ENNS, Speaking in Duke 260-262
THURSDAY 8:00–9:00 PM: Teaching the Bible to Your Child: Where Should You Start?
What are the first Bible stories that a child should know? Should you teach the Old Testament before the New—or the other way around? How about the really difficult parts—should you tackle those head on, or wait until the child is older? In this workshop, I suggest that the best place to start is not with “Bible stories” (Noah’s ark, David and Goliath), but rather with Jesus. Jesus is the center of the Christian faith and the proper place to start a child’s Christian education. In grades 1-4, students should get to know him the way the first followers of Jesus did: through his teachings, healings, interactions with his opponents, etc. In grades 5-8, young students should take a huge step back and focus on the big picture of Israel’s Story, the Old Testament; this helps give a greater sense of how Jesus brings Israel’s story to its conclusion. In grades 9-12, students should focus on the historical setting of the Bible. The Bible was not written in a vacuum; knowing something about the cultures in which the Bible was written will help them develop a mature understanding.
FRIDAY 2:30-3:30 PM: Struggling With Your Faith (and What God is Teaching You Through It)
All Christians struggle with their faith in various seasons of their lives. Too often Christians think something is “wrong” with them or that their faith is “weak.” But the Bible talks a lot about spiritual struggles without sugarcoating the pain and doubt. From Scripture we learn that struggling with our faith is a normal and necessary part of our Christian journey. True spiritual growth always involves passing through the difficult times, not around them. Most importantly, struggling with faith gives parents a chance to model meaningful spiritual growth for their children, and thus give them a lesson that will last a lifetime.
SATURDAY 10-11 AM: The Bible and Parents: Reading the Bible as God’s Story
Christian parents bear the responsibility of teaching the Bible to their children. But if parents themselves are uncomfortable with the Bible, or not familiar with what it is designed to do (and not do), teaching children can be a difficult and frustrating experience. Too often the tendency is to read parts of books or verses here and there. When read this way, the Bible becomes simply a moral guide or a Christian “how-to” book, where readers expect moral or religious guidance on every page, and are frustrated when they don’t find it. Rather, the Bible is a grand narrative, a big story, with beginning, middle, and end. In this workshop, we will look at that grand narrative, and see how reading it as it was intended to be read changes our experience of God’s Word.