A Brief Review of
Creative Bible Lessons on The Trinity:
12 Sessions to Help Students Understand Their Place in God’s Story.
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
The Trinity. What a difficult and yet essential concept of Christian theology! Think of all the heresies that have arisen over the span of the church’s history from misunderstanding the Trinity, and of course, our theological misgivings shape the ways in which our faith gets embodied in practice. Andrew Hedges has offered in his new book Creative Bible Lessons on The Trinity: 12 Sessions to Help Students Understand Their Place in God’s Story a wonderful and meaty resource for providing youth with a solid theological framework. What is extraordinary about this little book — the newest in a series of “Creative Bible Lessons” series — is that Hedges combines substantial ideas with a presentation style that is appropriate for and sensitive to the learning styles of youth (the book begins, for instance, with particularly helpful chapter on the learning styles of teens).
The first session on “triunity” gets the book off to an excellent start:
Community lies at the heart of the Trinity. The Father, Son and Spirit share the highest and most perfect expression of what it means to live in unity and harmony. God commands that his church exhibit these characteristics (Romans 15:5-6). As believers do this, they faithfully portray the heart of God. (17)
From there, the sessions cover some of the deepest theological and practical facets of our faith: Jesus as the Word of God, The Missio Dei, the incarnation, the resurrection, Fruits of the Spirit and more. The chapter on the Fruits of the Spirit is helpful, but it does seem – an in many evangelical writings – that the parts on the Holy Spirit are otherwise a bit thin in contrast to the other parts of the book.
Overall, however, Creative Bible Lessons on The Trinity is a superb and superb curriculum that provides teens with careful language for being active and reflective members of God’s people and for thinking and conversing Christianly. Andrew Hedges rightly sets a high bar in his expectations that teens can and should be engaged in meaningful theological conversations in the life of their church communities.
C. Christopher Smith is the editor of The Englewood Review of Books and author of the recent ebook The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities. He is currently working on co-writing a book on the theme of Slow Church (IVP Books 2013), and blogs about this new project on Patheos.com.