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Many years ago I was asked to be an assistant to the teacher of the Wednesday night 4th grade Bible class. That was when I met Sarah Fallis. I was blown away by the depth of the material she was teaching those kids: material she had created with the assistance of an artist to illustrate the big ideas. She was teaching fourth graders how to see Jesus in the Old Testament. That first evening we looked at some of the prophecies of Christ in Isaiah and how they were fulfilled in the New Testament. It was not just the students who learned important lessons in that class. I came away with new knowledge and with new ideas on how to teach young students the deeper concepts of God’s plan through time. I have just finished reading Sarah’s new book, The Drama of Redemption: Walking with Jesus from Creation to Canaan, published by WestBow Press in Bloomington, IN, and it has proven no less valuable than the time I spent learning from her in person. It is a teacher’s resource book, a teacher’s guidebook, and an invaluable look at the scheme of redemption as seen through the Old Testament events and people.
The Drama of Redemption is twenty chapters covering Creation to Joshua. Each chapter includes goals for each lesson, related Scriptures, and illustrated charts to help teach these otherwise difficult lessons. Sarah gives us word pictures and real pictures to help our students “know God, not just know about God.” She gives teachers effective tools, ideas, and even specific words to say, so that even young children can learn to trace the purpose of God all the way from “before the beginning” to the end of Revelation. Her goal in choosing these charts and words and lessons is to strengthen young students against the bombardment of erroneous teaching and thinking they meet and will continue to meet in the world.
I call this a teacher’s guide book because Sarah has done so much more than give us tools to use. Sarah has taught us how to teach these difficult concepts to our students. Working off of the knowledge that we “cannot teach what we do not know,” she uses the greater portion of this book to teach us the deeper meaning in the stories we’re accustomed to telling, to make clear for us the connecting thread between all these people and the Savior who died for us all, so that we can, in turn, relay this soul-saving information to our classes. One need not be intimidated when faced with relating Jacob’s ladder, blood sacrifices, holy days, or even priestly garments to the Son of God; Sarah tells us how to do that concisely and without any confusion. She even includes within the different lessons ideas on how to narrow down the information for first-graders or expand the concept for older students. Though she lets us know that we must study and consider age-groups and maturity, Sarah leaves us confident and prepared enough to tackle subjects we wouldn’t have considered before. For that alone this book is a treasure.
Even if one is not teaching, The Drama of Redemption can be read for the sheer goal of personal growth. In every one of the 20 chapters I learned valuable information I had not considered before. The reader will see her own understanding greatly expand by reading this book. Sarah’s passion and joy for learning, knowing, living and teaching God through His word will also inspire the reader and cause one to crave more and more of this spiritual meat. If you’ve ever desired a deeper understanding of God’s word, this is your means of developing that. Your love for God will grow. Your love for Christ will grow. Your love for the Spirit Who breathed into man the words of the Bible to write will grow. And, if you’re a teacher, your abilities and your students will grow. You will understand the “unity and integrity” of the Bible in ways you have never done before.
I highly recommend The Drama of Redemption: Walking with Jesus from Creation to Canaan to anyone. If you teach the Old Testament, you need this book. If you teach from the New Testament you need this book. Sarah Fallis instructs us how to teach these concepts forward from the shadow of Christ to its New Testament manifestation and how to teach them backward from the reality of Christ to the Old Testament shadow. She teaches us how to teach these concepts to all age groups from as young as First grade up through adult. Roy Johnson’s illustrations are perfectly tailored to each lesson, and she has graciously shared them for use in your classroom. I have assigned this to my teenage daughters to read and incorporate into their Bible class of 5-6 year-olds. I have been blessed from the reading of this book, and I plan on blessing my students with Sarah’s lessons as well. I most eagerly await Sarah’s next book on the prophets. Read this book. The soul you strengthen just might be your own.
By Sandi Smith
Sandi was raised a preacher’s kid in Illinois. She now homeschools her four children in Fort Worth, TX with her husband of 18 years, Joe. Sandi loves teaching ladies’ Bible classes, and is a regular instructor for the Preacher Wives Program at the Brown Trail School of Preaching.
Note: The author was in no way compensated for this review nor was Come Fill Your Cup, its Editor or affiliates.
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