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The Prince's Poison Cup Hardcover – October 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. R. C. Sproul is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and the minister of preaching and teaching at St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Fla. He is the author of more than sixty books and served as the general editor of The Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Sproul is renowned for his ability to communicate deep, practical truths from God s Word.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 35 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing; Printed in Mexico edition (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567691048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567691047
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. R.C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Fla. He is also co-pastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Fla., chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. He can be heard on the radio program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and around the world, and on RefNet 24-hour Christian internet radio. Dr. Sproul has contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, has spoken at conferences, churches, and schools around the world, and has written more than ninety books, including The Holiness of God, Faith Alone, and Everyone's a Theologian. He also serves as general editor of The Reformation Study Bible.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ray F Van Neste on November 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
R. C. Sproul's writings have meant a lot to me for many years, so several years ago I noted with interest when he began writing children's books. This is the first of his children's books I have read however. I am now all the more interested to get his other children's books.

This story is a good allegorical retelling of the gospel. The story begins with a little girl who loves to hear stories from her grandfather. She asks him, "If medicine helps us get better, why does it always seem to taste so bad?" From this question the grandfather tells her a story of how "sometimes things that seem terrible are actually very good." What follows then is medieval story of a people who rebelled against their good King (the King of Life) and drank from a forbidden fountain. As a result the people became wicked and abandoned the King. Eventually the King's Son, the Prince came and drank the deadly poison himself. The poison killed him, but the King brought him back to life. The Prince's action also turned the poisoned fountain into a life giving fountain that restored the people to the King.

The story is well woven bringing in many facets of Christ's ministry and giving a good grasp of the atonement in basic terms. A discussion guide is also provided in the back to help parents discuss the book with their children. This is a great tool, because although the connections will seem obvious to those raised in the faith, this guide ensures that you can give this book to people with no background in the faith and they will be sure to see the connections being made.

I commend this book heartily. Books like this are wonderful on various levels. For one, I like to be able to present the gospel regularly to my children from various angles.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Theologian and pastor Dr. R.C. Sproul's The Prince's Poison Cup is nothing less than gorgeous.

In this allegorical tale, we first meet a modern-day little girl named Ella who has a minor illness and must take some distasteful medicine. She asks her father, "Why does medicine taste so bad if it's going to make us well?" Her grandfather gives the answer in the form of a "once upon a time" story.

He says that once their was a king called the King of Life because he made people, animals, and plants. He created a beautiful park where he could meet with his people and enjoy a beautiful fountain. He told them they could drink from any stream in the park, but they could not drink from that fountain. But when a stranger in a dark cloak appeared and told them the liquid in the fountain would do "wonderful things for them," they disobeyed their king. They didn't know the stranger was the king's enemy. Once they drank from the fountain, the water turned murky and they moved out of the park and began disobeying the king in nearly every way imaginable.

The king was angry enough to destroy his people, but instead he sent his son, the prince, to go to the park and drink from the fountain. By doing so, the king said, the prince would die from the murky poison - but the prince would also save the people. Even though it was very difficult, the prince obeyed his father. As he approached the fountain, the prince began to tremble with fear. With a cruel smile, the stranger in the dark cloak handed the prince a cup. With difficulty, the prince drank the poison and died. The people, led by the stranger, laughed and cheered...until the King of Life appeared and put life back into the prince.

"At that moment, the liquid bubbling up out of the fountain changed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lora Weatherly on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not your typical, fluffy, feelgood children's book. It does not hide sin and death, but instead seeks to make them more understandable to the young child. It is a book with purpose.

This book is rife with opportunities to discuss difficult Christian concepts with children. An allegorical adaptation of the story of the cross, this piece covers such concepts as: the fall, the hard-heartedness of all humanity, the cost of sin, the necessity of the Son's sacrifice, redemption, God's goodness even when things seem bad, and Christ's resurrection, just to name a few. There is potential to discuss many more topics that are touched on in the book as well.

I disagree with a previous reviewer, who felt that the points were not adequately clear. Truly good children's literature covers difficult concepts that cause children to ask questions and think for themselves. The idea is not for the child to sit alone in his or her room reading the book and fully understanding it, but for a parent to read it to them and guide them through the difficult parts. I think this book does this better than most. Without giving us all the answers, it allows the child to think and the parent to lead the child into a discussion of the real Prince, and the poison of our sin that he accepted on the Cross.
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Potter on November 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
R. C. Sproul, Bible teacher, prolific author, and founder of Ligonier Ministries, has turned his hand to children's books on several occasions. And I must say that I was pleased with his 2006 story The Lightlings which allegorized the Christmas story. So when I had an opportunity to examine this new children's story by Sproul I was expecting great things.

As with the previous children's book I read from Sproul, he teamed up with artist Justin Gerard to create an ornamental, keepsake book for parents to read with their children and then pass on as veritable heirlooms for their grandchildren, and their grandchildren beyond. The artwork in The Prince's Poison Cup, while relatively nice, is not consistently spectacular as readers encountered in The Lightlings.

Sproul also takes the approach of a story within a story to retell the message of salvation. Ella Ruth's grandfather comes to visit while she is ill. She wants to know why medicine has to taste so bad if it is good for you. The story that Grandpa relates tells of a great King who provides a cure for the ailment of the people of his kingdom by sending his son, the Prince, to drink deadly poison.

The allegory bears a striking resemblance to the story of the fall of mankind found in the book of Genesis. In the story, instead of a forbidden tree, the reader finds a forbidden fountain. A place from which the King's subjects are forbidden to drink or something terrible will happen. The King, known as the King of Life because he had the ability to create things, loved his people (who he created) very much, but he knew that they would one day disobey him and drink from the fountain.
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