All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Sunday School

By Cliff Schimmels
Wheaton : Victor (1991). 208 Pages.

Reviewed by
4.1 (Spring 1993) : 117-118

The author, professor of Education at Wheaton College for over seventeen years, has written extensively on educational issues. His book has two forerunners: Ann Boylan's The Sunday School and All I Ever Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, the former of which chronicles the earliest known origins and development of the Sunday School in the United States and England and the latter of which introduces what may prove to be a new genre of popular literature.

In his witty anecdotal style, Schimmels takes the reader back to the simplicity of his country Sunday School that made long-lasting impressions on him. Profoundly simple truths taught decades earlier now result in life-changing experiences that continue.

Those who question the ability of a faithful child (or maybe it is the faithful little country church) to affect lives would do well to read and ponder the message of this small book. For those who grew up in Sunday Schools like Schimmel's, the challenge is to believe that to "go home again" to that setting would be to savor some of those lingering and sometimes vague recollections of the institution that so shaped their lives. Memories are important, but the lessons are still lifechanging.

Some say Sunday School is dying. For the sake of childlike faith of all ages, this reviewer hopes they are wrong.