I recently met with a friend for coffee and during the course of our conversation, I mentioned a few facts about church history. She responded, “Where did you learn that?”
I said, “I took a class in high school.”
Incredulous, she asked, “Where did you go to high school?”
I had the opportunity to attend a Christian school that taught church history. I then learned more when I went to college. But most believers know little about the history of church. They might know some history of the individual church they attend on Sunday mornings, but few know the roots of that church, its connection to other churches, and the denomination it may be connected to. Fewer still understand how we got all the denominations we have today, why we believe what we believe, and who sacrificed so we could live out those beliefs.
As believers, it’s important that we know how we got to where we are today. It’s also important that we teach our children the history of the church. Some readers may remember my post at Redeemed Reader a few years ago where I shared some favorite resources for teaching children church history. Today, I want to share about a new resource, A Colorful Past.
This coloring book is a useful tool to help children learn about church history. Beginning in the first century with the Apostle Paul and ending in the 20th century with J. Gresham Machen, the author, William Boekestein, takes children on a tour of history. Each page includes a picture to color and highlights one person from church history and in a paragraph, summarizes what that person did in their time to spread the gospel and stand for the truth of God’s word. Examples of people included are: Tertullian, Augustine, St. Patrick, Anselm, Lady Jane Grey, John Calvin, John Owen, and C.H. Spurgeon.
If you study church history, you quickly learn that God’s people were not perfect. Some were deeply flawed. Some were weak. Some did not always follow a life of godliness. The author acknowledges this and points out some of their flaws in the book. As he wrote in the introduction, he wants children to see how God preserves his church despite his people’s weaknesses and failures. Indeed, as we learn and study church history, we realize what a miracle it is that it has survived—a testimony of God’s grace! He will keep and preserve his Bride until he comes for her at the Last Day.
This coloring book would be a useful tool to introduce children to the history of the church. It would also be useful in conjunction with other resources and biographies. For those who have a timeline of history taped to their walls, the coloring sheets would be a great addition because they include the century when the person lived. I highly recommend this resource to parents who want to help their children see God’s faithfulness to his church throughout the centuries.