The Jesus Storybook Bible
Every story whispers his name
Zondervan, 2007, 350 pp., ISBN
The new Jesus Storybook Bible has four very attractive characteristics:
1. The author shows how every Old Testament story foreshadows the coming of Jesus to rescue his people. Every Bible story "whispers his name." Jesus is the piece that makes all the other pieces of the Bible story puzzle fit together.
2. The main theme of the story is "God's Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever, Love."
3. The stories are written in very understandable language for children ages four and up.
4. The illustrations are outstanding. Kids and adults will love them. The individual who recommended this book to me said his two-year old was attracted by the illustrations.
A couple of other things I noticed:
1. The stories end pretty quickly after the Gospels. Acts through Revelation are represented in the last 25 pages.
2. The Storybook rightly focuses on God's love but it is light on God's other characteristics, such as his holiness and his abhorence of sin.
"It's not about keeping rules!" Paul told people. "You don't have to be good at being good for God to love you. You just have to believe what Jesus has done and follow him. Because it's not about trying, it's about trusting. It's not about rules, it's about Grace: God's free gift--that cost him everything." (340)
This is true. But I wonder if telling children "you don't have to be good at being good," may be heard as "you don't have to be good." Our evangelical pendulum has swung from "works" to "grace." Are we in danger of undermining the necessity of living in loving obedience to God?
3. I would have appreciated more emphasis on God's love for all peoples and the whole world in the Old Testament stories.
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