[Book Review] The Story of King Jesus

The Story of King Jesus (by Ben Irwin) is apparently intended to be a shorter version of The Jesus Storybook Bible. And if you like the latter, you will probably enjoy the former.

But I don't.

I'm not a big fan of storybook bibles and devotionals. They tend to "soften" up theology, and the wording is often too flowery for my taste. Nevertheless, I have used them in the past and plan to do so in the future.

While The Story of King Jesus is not a storybook Bible, it does communicate the whole story of the Bible and God's redemption. That is, it communicates as well as you could in the time-frame of a bedtime story for 4-8 year olds (the intended audience).

Theological Hurdles

However, a few problems with this book leads me to give it two stars out of five:
  • There is no mention of the word "sin," an important idea that parents should be teaching their elementary school children. This book refers to people doing "bad" things. 
  • The authors misses an important purpose of the Old Testament Law. He writes that it was for God's people to know how to live. However, Paul writes that the Law was given to expose our sin nature and to show how much we needed a Savior (Galatians 3:19).
  • The only "job" from our King, according to this book, is to "love each other with all we've got." But that ignores the first of the two great commandments: to love God with all we've got (Mark 12:30-31). 
  • The page that talks about the world being broken is depicted by angry and sad people (OK, I'm with you there), plus a bulldozer and a factory emitting fumes and clouds. Really? While I do think that we are to be stewards of creation, we can do better than make this a major issue.

All that being said, there may be a place for The Story of King Jesus in your home. That is, if you can look past the questionable theology and $15 price tag.

Do You Want a Free Copy?

And if you want to avoid the price tag, you can get a free copy of this book. The publisher (David C Cook) will send one of my readers a copy. You can enter to win by leaving a comment here or on the Facebook post, by replying on Twitter, or by emailing me.

The deadline for entering is Saturday April 18.

My recommendation: try to get this free copy, or borrow from another resource, and read it with your kids. But be sure to follow up reading it with a discussion of the theological issues I listed above.

**Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of The Story of King Jesus in return for this review.

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