We recently received a copy of The Promise, a new book published by Crossway books. I was initially gripped by the beautiful artwork (it was illustrated by Rommel Ruiz) and the title, which was enough to suggest that the book would teach kids bout the coming of the Savior, but when I cracked it open, I found so much more than I imagined!
Let me say this first, I'm only setting out to review books we like - I'm not here to drag an author or publisher through the mud. I trust that parents are wise and wary enough to recognize poor theology when it is found in kids books. So what you'll find here are books we love and the reasons we love them. :)
Christ-Types in the Old Testament
This is some good theology. The structure of this book walks through the big story of the Bible, starting in Genesis, and shows how sin broke our relationship with God. I particularly look for this language in kids books - the consequences of our sin was not that we were naked or simply that we had to leave a beautiful garden, it was a broken relationship with God. This book captures that well. Then, from the very start, it tells the reader that God promised that a Savior would come and crush the serpent's head and make them friends of God again.
Walking through many (not all) of the Christ-types in the Old Testament, the book wonders with the reader if a faith-filled person like Abraham would be the Savior, or a brave conquerer like Joshua would be the Savior, or a good king like David would be the Savior ... and then "disappoints" the reader by showing how each person failed to live up to God's perfect standard. Very succinctly, it shows how each character mentioned whispers the promise of Christ while failing to be the promised Savior.
I imagine that the reader will get a glimpse into how Israel felt corporately - waiting and watching for the Savior, wondering when he would come or who he would be, and then disappointed by those who failed to be the Savior they knew they needed.
After surveying all these Christ-types, in my favorite double page spread in the whole book, it shows how Christ came and was the fulfillment of each of these roles. Christ was the perfect faith-filled man, the perfect brave conquerer, the perfect King ... and so much more! It shows Christ as the one who every story anticipated.
Theologically, we call these Christ-types. I have often heard to them referred to (by Tim Keller, originally) as the "truer and better" pictures in the Old Testament. Christ was the "truer and better" Moses, the "truer and better" priest, the "truer and better" King, etc. This book does an phenomenal job passing this onto children!
My 15 month old daughter sat for this entire book this morning - can you believe it? I couldn't! I think what gripped her is the same thing that gripped me: the illustrations! They're beautiful and linear, modern and colorful. I just couldn't get enough of them. I loved them and I'm confident you will too.
We loved this book, and we will hope to read it for years to come! Here are some of the specs; you can purchase it at the link below!