In the past year, many families have discovered that More Than a Story provides much more than a typical children's Bible book.
"I have seen and read many different Bibles and this one is unique," wrote Anna Symonds in a recent Amazon review. She continued with these bullet points:
- A unique feature that immediately stuck out to me was the fact that actual Bible passages are cited in the text, highlighted in a different color to stick out. I love this!
- True to its title, “More Than a Story” offers more than accounts of the biblical story but puts it all in a story form which goes deep into the theological concepts of the story.
- Central faith themes are highlighted in bold.
- The illustrations are beautiful & detailed!
- I am a big fan of the writing style which includes many questions that get us and our children thinking.
To help more parents see More Than a Story's unique value for family discipleship, Sally Michael recently answered some common questions:
What can a family get from working through the two volumes of More Than a Story that they wouldn't get from other children's Bible resources?
- Intentional teaching of key Bible doctrines. These are not just mentioned, but explained and illustrated by the stories and text.
A robust understanding of the gospel, which involves
- the authority, character, and commands of God
- man’s fall and the result of man’s sin nature
- the promise of a Redeemer and the resulting fulfillment
- the meaning and implications of Christ's work on the cross
- the character of the Christian living in obedience to God
- The inclusion of nearly 2,000 actual Bible texts to familiarize children with God’s Word.
- Suggested Bible memory verses and prayer ideas.
- A fairly complete overview of both the Old Testament and New Testaments, including the message of the prophets, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament letters.
- An overview of biblical history. The chronological approach provides a fuller treatment of the whole message of the Bible, going beyond just including the most popular stories.
- Additional key sections to help children understand the Bible more fully, such as maps, key Scripture portions highlighted and explained (e.g. the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, The Beatitudes, etc), a gospel explanation from Romans, presentation of how the Old Testament pointed to Christ, and an explanation of the intertestamental period.
- Deep theological truths and themes explained in a child-friendly and easy to understand manner. Written to be understood by children yet beneficial for parents as well. Appealing to multiple generations.
- Godward focus in all the stories—exalting God and encouraging worship.
- Language that is child appropriate, yet not casual and trendy—giving appropriate respect to the Word of God while still engaging children.
- Bible stories with appropriate details. Details are important because they can create in the child’s heart the real drama of the narrative and stir a response of the heart.
- The opportunity to intentionally dialogue about spiritual matters both through the questions in the chapters and in the application section which helps parents and children discover how the truths taught apply in everyday life.
What value does More Than a Story provide as a resource for a homeschool family or for a Christian school?
In addition to the features already described, the two volumes of More Than a Story can be used as a curriculum for a wide range of ages. They appeal to younger children, while still challenging older children and include a great deal of Biblical history. Each chapter can be easily discussed, allowing parents and teachers to assess a child’s understanding and recall of the material. This is more than a Bible story book, but it is also book of history and theology.
How would you describe the relationship between the two volumes of More Than a Story and the curriculum produced by Truth78?
More Than a Story presents a chronological view of the theological themes in the Bible. So it gives a broad overview of biblical truths. It provides the framework for tying all the curriculum together into a coherent chronological whole. In contrast for example, Jesus What a Savior! focuses on gospel truths. My Purpose Will Stand focuses on God’s sovereignty. The ABC’s of God and How Majestic Is Your Names focus on the truths about God’s character and essence. Faithful to All His Promises focuses on God’s promises. Etc. More Than a Story covers a wide spectrum of Bible history. It also ties together all the curriculum teaching biblical theology as well as systematic theology. It records key Bible stories and, as an addition, gives an Old and New Testament survey. In this way, it is a more complete treatment of the Bible as a whole, while the curriculum is a deeper treatment of the key biblical truths.
How were the More Than a Story illustrations designed to serve families?
I believe six words best describe the illustrations in More Than a Story and how they were designed to help children grasp the truths of the Bible:
- Contextual—The biblical world and many of the biblical situations are unfamiliar to today's children. The illustrations bring meaning to the unfamiliar biblical context for children.
- Realistic—The illustrations are “real to biblical life” showing that these were real people, in real places, in real situations. These are not imaginative cartoon people or made-up situations. The realism portrays that these people really lived, these events really happened…and everything in God’s Word is true.
Intentional—Illustrations were commissioned to portray important biblical truths. The illustration of the priests carrying the ark of the covenant as they stepped into the Jordan River which parted at their feet is a picture of God going before His people. The priests carrying the ark as Israel marched around Jericho portrays that God gave His people victory over Jericho. The illustrations are used to make connections between the Old and New Testaments and to demonstrate the truth of God’s promise and Word. The picture of Jesus on the cross superimposed over the illustration of the ram in the thicket shows that God has provided the permanent sacrifice for sin in His Son, the spotless, perfect sacrificial Lamb of God.
The temple curtain split from top to bottom portrays that we have direct access to the presence of God through Jesus, the Mediator between God and man.
- Accurate—As much as possible, dealing with the limitations of space and cost, the illustrations provide a biblically accurate depiction of events, people, and context. The ark is portrayed more like a box than a boat. The ark of the covenant is covered with a cloth and transported on poles. The altars of sacrifice to God were made of rocks rather than hewn stones; etc.
- Classic/Timeless—The illustrations are not modern, nor are they outdated and old-fashioned. They are beautiful classic (or timeless) watercolors of biblical times, buildings, customs, dress, and situations.
- Emotional—Pictures touch the heart in a way that often words do not. The facial expressions and actions illustrated in various scenes can help children understand the emotional context of the biblical event.