The God Puzzle by Ackerman

godpuzzleAs much as Sunday School is for education and edification, the fact is that most of a child’s moral development will happen at home as they watch and learn from parents and siblings. That’s why it’s so very important to have some kind of Biblical learning going on in the house. That’s where books like this one come in to play.

The God Puzzle
How the Bible fits together to reveal God as Your Greatest Treasure
Valerie Ackermann
HigherLife Publishing
October 2013

Built in workbook form, the God Puzzle takes children ages 7 through 12 through 26 lessons on basic Christian theology. Starting with the fundamentals of God, sin and redemption and then digging deeper into how the Old Testament and New Testament are a unified story of redemption followed by practical guides on what worship, the church, spiritual gifts and the sacraments are. Each of the lessons has multiple types of illustrations and worksheet questions allowing for multiple different types of learning styles. For instance, there are reading and comprehension questions where you’d read a passage and then circle the appropriate, related words or questions that deal with emotional intelligence where you read a statement and then decided how that should or does make you feel. There are fill in the blanks and short answers as well. And each lesson ends in a journaling exercise with prayer.

The first thing a parent should notice is that this is a workbook that requires reading. So if your child is not a capable reader yet then you’ll want to work through this with them or come back to it when they are. Second, these lessons are written in a way that should be very familiar to younger elementary students and they may respond the same way they do at school: I have to do work!? If you set them down and assign this to them they are likely to resent it instead of enjoy it. A group setting or pairing up is recommended. This is a parent plus child workbook (if you want it to be effective.)

I really like how this book avoids the pitfalls of majoring in the minors, if you know what I mean. Consider the Spiritual Gifts lesson (p157) where so much could have gone wrong and so much could have been polarizing but the author does a great job of only using the Bible passages and then goes in to a detailed way that we can exercise the gifts in our lives. I think this works well for both Charismatic and non-Charismatic believers because there is room to personalize to family beliefs without undermining the workbook.

This is a great workbook and I believe it fills a gap between Sundays and Wednesdays that every Christian family has.


Scott Asher is the Managing Editor of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.