Ann Voskamp for kindergarten children?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by augustacarguy, Nov 27, 2017.

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  1. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    My wife received this from our kindergarten teacher:

    I am excited about how we will celebrate Christmas using Ann Voskamp's, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. We will use "The Jesse Tree" as a different way to celebrate advent season. Look for a note to come home on Friday with an explanation about how we will "unwrap the greatest gift"using "The Jesse Tree." Your child will bring home ornaments and scripture to share and "unwrap" with your families.


    Is this worrying?


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  2. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    I've been a communing member of the church for a half century, and this is the first I recall ever having heard of a 'Jesse' tree.

    Some of the TRs here are likely to have some concerns about the reference to the Papist liturgical calendar.
     
  3. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    I’m very disappointed. This is a school associated with my PCA church.


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  4. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    You'll probably get a range of responses here. As someone who wants nothing to do with Roman Catholic holy days and wishes all of them to be long forgotten in the dusty annals of history, I could never allow my children to participate in such activities.
     
  5. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Catholics may do this but the whole thing is simply walking through Scripture (right?). If that's the case, I think it's a wonderful thing. Maybe you can help me understand why it should be worrying? Is no Scripture better than Scripture that Catholics use?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  6. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    My concern was Ann Voskamp. I don’t know much about her, but I’ve heard nothing good.


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  7. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Some Jesse Tree devotionals are actually quite good. They tend to take you through Scripture, showing how the entire Bible speaks of Christ. If you aren't opposed to the whole idea of Advent, there surely are worse ways to observe it than by chewing on 25 Bible passages.

    But I'm not a big fan of Voscamp's (very popular) Jesse Tree book, because I feel it takes the emphasis away from the Scripture and puts it instead on Voscamp's writing style. At times her writing really can be beautiful, but nothing compares to the beauty of looking at Christ in the Scriptures.

    I don't own a copy of the book, but I can't remember seeing anything overtly heretical when I looked at it. I just thought it wasted an opportunity to really celebrate the gospel by instead using gospel themes to produce a homey sentimentality. A good teacher who knows the gospel could still work with the material, though, and draw out some excellent points.

    You might want to cut this kindergarten teacher a bit of slack. Perhaps the teacher is excited about looking at Scripture passages and happens to like Voscamp's style, in which case the teacher's intentions are good. If you're nice about it, you might be able to encourage the teacher to emphasize the Bible content and move beyond the sentimental stuff.
     
  8. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Regarding her personally one could definitely do worse though I'd chose other devotional sources. I'd say she's a believer. Here's her statement of faith. I don't see any Joyce Meyer/Beth Moore prosperity stuff.
     
  9. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Maybe you should read her stuff before voicing concerns about her? (ie, John 7:51). You are kind of implicitly slandering her, though you don't even know anything first hand about what she writes. That is a bit worrying to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  10. augustacarguy

    augustacarguy Puritan Board Freshman

    That’s why I was asking. Man, lighten up.


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  11. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    I don't care for her style and have never read anything much from her, but I remember this review from Tim Challies that caused a stir. He quotes from the sections of the book that are of concern. You might want to look over the material the teacher is using to see if there's anything concerning in it. It's hard to get away from this kind of stuff in many PCA churches. https://www.challies.com/book-reviews/one-thousand-gifts/
     
  12. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Of course, that review is of a different book than the one Will is asking about. But as I read the review just now, I thought Challies had good insight that applies to the Christmas book as well. It's hard to take a particular page from Voscamp's Christmas book and find much fault with it. But the overall effect seems to have her finding God mostly in places other than Scripture. Given that she's supposedly following a form that's about seeing Christ in the Old Testament, the inattention to Scripture seems odd.
     
  13. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

  14. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I remember it well. It was very odd to many of us; he had not said anything personally against her, just against some of her theological thinking. There was a comment box on the blog at that time, and many seasoned readers and contributors expressed concern that he had muddied the waters- after all, he didn't back down from his review and conclusions about the book. I had known Tim a pretty long time, had interacted with him as a friend for years, so I know he's a very tender-hearted guy who didn't want to be or come across as judgmental; he wanted to keep in mind that there are real people behind faulty theologies. But I don't think he handled that situation following his review and her contacting him as it should have been handled, and many agreed.
     
  15. Jeri Tanner

    Jeri Tanner Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, her inattention to Scripture seems to be pervasive in her writings, from what others have written about them and I've seen for myself. Mysticism can be a very subtle thing; from what I've seen, women are vulnerable and it tends to keep them from engaging with the arguments and reasonings of Scripture; mysticism makes one more comfortable with easier, more intuitive-feeling answers.
     
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