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Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Story Book Hardcover – January 11, 2010
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About the Author
Starr Meade served as the director of children’s ministries for ten years at her local church and taught Latin and Bible for eight years at a Christian school. She is a graduate of Arizona College of the Bible and has authored a number of books. Starr lives in Arizona with her husband, where she currently teaches homeschool students and is mother to three grown children and six grandchildren.
Tim O’Connor began his career in 1975 as a freelance animator and character designer. In addition to painting watercolors of American scenes, O’Connor has illustrated various Christian children’s books, including My Bedtime Anytime Storybook and My Pajama Bible.
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Top Customer Reviews
"In this storybook, the focus in each story is on God, not on the human characters in the story. The stories are not presented primarily as moral tales giving children role models to emulate, or as accounts of how God always meets people's needs (as do genies in fairy tales!). Instead, the book's goal is for children to rightly see the God of Scripture, as he presents himself in the Bible's narrative accounts. In this way, the book as a whole provides an overview of the character and attributes of God.
"Taken together, all the stories we read in Scripture of God's mighty acts relate the story of God's mightiest act: his work of redemption. When Satan's schemes and people's sin seemed sure to thwart his plans, God's purpose never faltered; he continued to perform one mighty act after another, all working together to accomplish the plan of redemption he had devised before he had created anything."
That is a profoundly right way to tell a Bible story. If that approach appeals to you (and I hope it does), and if you have elementary school age children, you might want to pick up a copy of this Bible story book. I just got my copy and plan to use it for family worship. It's perfectly tailored for that use. Each story is only 2 or 3 pages long, and provides some discussion ideas at the end of the story.
Before you add this to your cart, though, there are a couple of other things I think you should know.
First, this is not technically a Bible. It is in some ways more commentary than Bible. Each story includes a reference to the passage where the story is found and incorporates short excerpts from the passage and a key Bible verse, but if you want the actual Biblical text you'll have to read it from your Bible.
Second, these stories are told from a distinctively Reformed theological perspective. If that bothers you, I'm pretty sure you won't like this book. Just rate my review and click on another product; this one's not for you. Seamlessly integrated into these stories, you'll encounter terms like "providence," "effectual calling," and "predestined," along with simple explanations of those concepts. If that doesn't bother you, this is the Bible story book for you.
BUT, this book is different. It is something that I was looking for and didn't even know it. This Bible storybook isn't one that you will be able to hand your children and let them read on your own. It is perfect for family devotions and discussions. The passages are a little longer and there aren't a lot of pictures. At first, I wasn't sure what I would think of that. I was going to comment that I wished there were more pictures. But, I don't. My oldest daughter (6 years old) really wanted to read it this afternoon so I let her. What I found when I came back in the room was that she was flipping through all of the pictures rather than reading the words. She wanted to know the stories about the people. I don't think she fully realizes that the Bible is a story about God, not about people and their achievements. So, I am thankful that this Bible storybook doesn't have as many pictures. I think it will challenge her to read it--because I know she wants to know what this Bible storybook says. The age range on the back is 4-10. The author wrote it for Elementary Age students. I would recommend it for 6-10 year olds. My 4 year old is a little too young. She did follow the story, but I think she'll understand a lot more of it in a year or 2.
The writing is good and very easy to understand. At first, I thought it was a little dry, but then I started reading it out loud to my girls--it is written in a way that is perfect for reading out loud to children. It isn't dry at all. If you read with a little inflection, it brings the passages to life and makes them personal to your children.
So, what does it mean that this book is written from a reformed perspective? Well, Starr Meade explains that God made a covenant with His people and what the word "covenant" means when she tells the story of Abraham and Sarah. But, she simplifies this by explaining it on a level that children understand. [Side note: even as I was writing this review, I began to review what "covenant theology" is. And I get confused! I have too many things in my brain! But, I agree wholeheartedly with what Starr Meade writes about the covenants that God has made to His people.] Often she identifies the promises that God has made--like the promise He made to Noah. She also explains predestination in the context of salvation. I thought she did a wonderful job! Predestination is a difficult thing to both understand and explain, but Starr Meade explained things just as I have come to understand them. She didn't say more than we know from scripture. The author doesn't read into the Bible and she's careful about what she infers throughout the book.
Do I recommend this story Bible? YES! It is one of the rare books that I will give 5 stars to without any hesitation. If you do believe in reformed theology, this would be a wonderful Bible storybook for devotions with your family!
Please note that I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by Crossway for review--but I would have purchased it on my own if I had known about it!