Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Apologia--Who Is God? TOS Product Review

"If Jesus Christ came to this planet as a model of how we ought to live, then our goal should be to act like Jesus. Sadly, few people consistently demonstrate the love, obedience and priorities of Jesus. The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus. Behavior stems from what we think - our attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions. Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life. We're often more concerned with survival amidst chaos than with experiencing truth and significance."

George Barna describing the outcome of a national survey of 2033 adults that showed only 4% of adults have a biblical worldview as the basis of their decision-making.

The word Apologia appears eight times in the New Testament, in the context of people defending their faith or actions by reason and logic.

"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you..." 1 Peter 3:15

Apologia Press

Who Is GOD? And Can I really Know Him?
Biblical Worldview of God and Truth
Volume 1 in the What We Believe Series

Written by John Hay and David Webb

Cost: $39.00 (252 pages hardbound book)

Recommended for children ages 6 to 14

When Who Is GOD? arrived, I was immediately struck by the quality and beauty of the actual book. We have used textbooks published by Apologia for years and this book falls right in line with the high-quality products for which they are known.

Let me just start by saying that by God's grace we have been raising our children under the influence of a biblical worldview since they were old enough to understand language. We have always tried to filter what we read, what we see, what we hear, and what we do through God's Word, the Bible. I can remember when my children were very young (even as teenagers today) and asking difficult questions. I have great comfort in saying the words, "Well, God says..." or "Well, when God created..." The biblical lens through which we look at the world allows us to see with eyes focused on the Creator God. Otherwise, chaos oftentimes rules our lives.

And so Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?, introduces the concept of worldview while laying the foundational truths upon which the evangelical Christian worldview is built: God is truth and He reveals His truth to people; He is the one true and almighty God; He is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; He created everything; we are God’s children and are made to love and to praise Him; God meets all our needs; sin keeps us from God; and Jesus is the only way to God.

View a sample lesson here. See the Table of Contents here.

We have been using this curriculum for the past six weeks and have found it to be very well presented, easy to read, and easy to use each day. Like every Apologia book we have read in the past, this text reads like a story, is engaging and thought provoking. With the purchase of the book, a link and password are provided to allow users extensive resources. These resources include optional teacher helps, student notebooking pages, and House of Truth inserts, along with links to on-line Bibles, Bible study tools, Christian Apologetics, Movie, TV and Video Game Reviews, and book reviews. Apologia thought of everything you might need or want to have access to while using this book!

The introduction includes a lesson plan, designed to be flexible and adaptable to each family's needs. While their schedule recommends one lesson every two weeks, three days per week, we adjusted our schedule slightly so we could use the curriculum five days a week. Each lesson is divided into a very specific and consistent structure:

The Big Idea: Main topic of the lesson and a brief overview of what has been learned up to this point.

What You Will Do: Lesson objectives.

Short Story: A story featuring characters with different worldviews. The characters work thorough their differences by seeking council through the bible and their parents.

Think About It: Thought-provoking questions to check for understanding and comprehension.

What You Need To Know: Important vocabulary words and definitions that students can write in their notebooks.

Hide It In Your Heart: Two specific Bible verses to be written in the student notebook for memorization. The first verse has to do with the main theme of the lesson while the second verse pertains to a character trait.

Integrated Learning: Articles related to the main text across the fields of art, math, science, history and more.

What Should I do?: Highlights a specific character trait that should be demonstrated bu the student in response to what he or she has just learned about God.

Prayer: Each lesson concludes with a prayer.

Worldview Study: Introduces the student to the concept of worldview.

House of Truth: Intended to be a hands-on memory aid, the House of Truth is a visual model constructed one step at a time. In this book, the student will complete the foundation and the first wall of the house. A new wall will be added in the second, third, and fourth volumes of the series.

Scripture is used and referenced throughout each lesson. If there is one thing I would change, it would be the use of different versions of the Bible. I wish scripture references were consistently NIV or ESV. Although I understand the desire to want to please its variety of readers, I found verses on the same page citing NIV and NLT a little bothersome. But you can't please everyone!

While the short stories helped develop the main theme of the lesson, we found them to be more in line for younger-aged students. My teenagers were a little, um, tortured by the simplicity of the stories. On the other hand, I can see how they would appeal to younger readers.

We enjoy the notebooking aspect of the curriculum since we use notebooking in other areas of our school day. Not only does notebooking reinforce each lesson, it provides a great vehicle for future portfolio reviews, if needed.

Overall, I think Who is GOD? is a great way to introduce a biblical worldview to parents and students desiring to know more about God and His truths and highly recommend Apologia's What We Believe series of books.

Additional products in this series What We Believe include Who Am I?, Who Is My Brother?, and What on Earth Can I Do?

Truth is eternal, knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.
Madeleine L'Engle

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.

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