It’s no secret that I LOVE history! I have spent much of my life reading history books and historical fiction, and I spend a good portion of my time today writing history-related resources. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review several history books by Generations. If you’re not familiar with Generations, they are more than a curriculum company. Their goal is to “pass on the faith to the next generation through the Biblical family, discipleship, and education.” They do this through radio programs, discipleship resources, curriculum, events, and retreats. You can learn more about them here. Today, I want to dive into just three of their incredible history resources that explore American and world history.
Several television shows from decades past used to conclude with a statement to the effect of, “What you have just seen is true. The names have been changed to protect . . . ” That simple statement has often caught me off guard (even though I know it will follow every episode of the show I am watching). That’s because it’s easy to get wrapped up in a story – God wired us to love story – but it is easy to forget that the events in some stories truly happened to real people.
Too often, when we study history, we look at what happened and not the people who lived it. We see events but fail to see the stories of what was unfolding, why it happened the way it did, and how it impacted the lives of the people who lived it. We forget that what we have just read is true, that it happened to real people. American Faith: 27 Sketches From Winthrop to Wilkerson attempts to begin to remedy that problem by looking at American history chronologically through the lives of 27 men and women who actually lived it.
It looks at five eras of American history:
- Unit 1: Spiritual Roots (1600-1760)
- Unit 2: Foundations of Faith (1760-1800)
- Unit 3: Prideful Expansion and Internal Turmoil (1800-1865)
- Unit 4: National Prosperity and Secularism (1865-1920)
- Unit 5: Remnant Revivals and Spiritual Decline (1920-Present)
This full-credit history course for Grades 7-12 is astounding. It explores hundreds of years of history through expertly-written chapters full of excerpts from the work of these 27 men and women of God. Whenever more explanation is needed on a term or phrase, a short inset makes the meaning and importance of the term or phrase clear.
This book delivers a big picture of American history through engaging text that makes the reader want to keep reading and keep turning pages. Just one of the fascinating things I learned was from the life of George Washington Carver. I have always loved learning about him, but I discovered facts I had never read and felt so much more connected to him by reading his actual words. Instead of learning about the man, the reader gets to know the man.
Through American Faith: 27 Sketches From Winthrop to Wilkerson, students will get to know:
- Unit 1: John Winthrop, William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, John Eliot, Increase Mather, David Brainerd, Jonathan Edwards
- Unit 2: Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Phillis Wheatley, George Washington, Noah Webster, Daniel Boone
- Unit 3: John Quincy Adams, Adoniram Judson, Asahel Nettleton, Lemuel Haynes, Jedediah Smith, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
- Unit 4: Charles Hodge, George Washington Carver, Dwight L. Moody, William McKinley
- Unit 5: J. Gresham Machen, Elisabeth Elliot, Henry Morris, David Wilkerson
If you are looking for an American history resource that will challenge you and your teens to take a fresh look at history through the eyes of the people who lived it, you need to check out American Faith: 27 Sketches From Winthrop to Wilkerson.
History’s Heroes is the next set I’d like to share with you. It is similar to American Faith: 27 Sketches From Winthrop to Wilkerson in that it shares history through the stories of the people who lived it. However, it shares Church history from Polycarp and the Early Church through Richard Wurmbrand and recent history. It, too, includes quotes from these inspiring men and women and enables Christians today to better understand the heritage of faith we are responsible for passing on to the next generation.
The course is a full-credit course designed for Grades 7-8. It is divided into 46 stories and connects readers to people such as:
- Unit 1: Early Church-Polycarp, Blandina, Constantine, Athanasius, Ambrose, Monica and Augustine, Saint Patrick
- Unit 2: Middle Ages-Pope Gregory I, Boniface, Charlemagne, Alfred the Great, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Waldo, Francis of Assisi, Elizabeth of Hungary, John Wyclife, John Huss
- Unit 3: Reformation-Martin Luther; William Tyndale; John Calvin; Anne Askey; Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; John Knox, Jeanne d’Albret; Renee, Duchess of Ferrara
- Unit 4: Post-Reformation-Gustavus Adolphus, Richard Cameron, Margaret MacLachlan and Margaret Wilson, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley, John Newton
- Unit 5: Modern Missions-David Brainerd, William Carey, David Livingstone, John Paton, Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael
- Unit 6: Recent Times-Charles Spurgeon, Chinese Christians in the Boxer Rebellion, Abraham Kuyper, J. Gresham Machen, C.S. Lewis, Richard Wurmbrand
The Course Schedule makes it easy to see how to break down the readings and assignments to fill a 36-week or 180-day year. History’s Heroes is a powerful read that teaches us about just a handful of the men and women who have believed with their whole hearts that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 NIV).
The Story of Freedom is the final title I’d like to share with you today. It’s only the final title because we don’t have room here to share about ALL the amazing history resources Generations has to offer. I urge you to explore them for yourself! It, too, shares the story of history but in a different format than the other two books we’ve looked at. As the title suggests, this book looks at the story of freedom itself. It begins by defining what freedom is from a Biblical viewpoint and explains how it connects to political freedom today. Next, it looks at a brief history of tyranny from ancient to modern times.
Following this brief history of tyranny is an incredible look at the history of freedom. It begins with Biblical heroes and follows freedom’s story through Christianity’s role in ending slavery in ancient civilizations, the Magna Carta, battles for independence in Europe, the Pilgrims, and America’s early history.
The next section of the book looks at how the Western world has fallen deeper and deeper into slavery and tyranny yet again. The book concludes with encouragement and exhortation to continue writing chapters in the story of freedom by how we live our lives. It helps us identify battlefields we face and how we can respond in a way that honors God and advances true freedom for everyone.
Important Note: These are valuable resources that share critical, life-changing stories. Some of the stories include details that are hard to read, so if you have an especially sensitive child or are doing history with multiple ages, pre-reading the material is strongly recommended.
These three titles are just a sample of the history resources Generations has to offer. Their titles are such powerful tools to teach the next generation the truth of God’s Word and His amazing, loving plan for history.
From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:26-27 NIV
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16-17 NIV
I received these three titles free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.