The Ology – Marty Machowski

The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New by Marty Machowski, Andy McGuire
Also by this author: God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender
Published by New Growth Press on October 19, 2015
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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A beginner’s book of systematic theology in the form of a beautifully illustrated storybook clearly explains life-changing theological truths with everyday examples and simple language that kids can understand, takes abstract theological concepts and makes them easier to understand with the use of creative examples, illustrations, and analogies. Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, with built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together.

The Ology isn’t your typical children’s book: it’s in invitation to teach your child about the Word of God and the Person of God. It’s not your typical theology book for children, either. It’s not a collection of Bible stories and it doesn’t gloss over more difficult subjects. Instead, it simply is what the subtitle says: Ancient Truths Ever New. Old stories told in new ways for newer eyes and ears to appreciate.

You could give this book to your children to read, but I don’t think that’s the right thing to do. Author Marty Machowski doesn’t shy away from poetic language and eloquence, something that may make The Ology a more difficult by-yourself read. But I think he knew that and understood that and hoped that it would make parents read to their children. (After all, children understand words and concepts that are more difficult than they can read.)

Each section runs from two to four pages and contains at least a couple paragraphs of text to explain the concept discussed within the section. Along with this is an accompanying illustration and a couple of memory verses that place the concept in its biblical context. Around each illustration are written Bible references to related passages.

Machowski breaks his book into eleven sections:

  • The Ology of God
  • The Ology of People
  • The Ology of Sin
  • The Ology of Promise and the Law
  • The Ology of Christ
  • The Ology of the Holy Spirit
  • The Ology of Adoption into God’s Family
  • The Ology of Change
  • The Ology of the Church
  • The Ology of the End Times
  • The Ology of God’s Word

My one major critique of the book is that it does not have study questions that are easily accessible. The book is divided into seventy one different sections, but the discussion questions are relegated to an appendix in the back of the book. It would have made much more sense to me to have those questions end each particular section, in order to better place an emphasis on them.

Other than that, The Ology is one of the most delightful and comprehensive children’s theologies that I’ve read. Most books of this type for children don’t structure themselves like a systematic theology (and probably for good reason), but Machowski makes the format not just work, but be an integral part of the book’s success. I could easily see this being adapted for Sunday School use for younger kids. A great way to teach your little ones God’s greatest truths!