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The Prince's Poison Cup Hardcover – October 30, 2008
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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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There was one main thing, however, that caught my attention--toward the end of the book. After Grandpa finishes the story and is talking to Ella, he tells her that people get sick because of their sin. Yes, it's true that sickness came when sin entered the world, but the wording doesn't seem to say that. It sounds more like the idea that sickness is a disciplinary measure when we sin, and there is no other cause for sickness. I'm not saying sickness is never a disciplinary measure/punishment for sin, but it isn't a biblical truth that sickness is always a disciplinary measure/punishment for a sin we have committed. You can read the book of Job if you think differently. Or the account of the man born blind (see the Gospel of John chapter 9). So, maybe RC Sproul didn't mean this the way I have interpreted it, but I felt like taking a marker and just blotting that sentence out. It wouldn't be missed.
So, given the fact that I thought the overall story was just okay, combined with the one major failing--one that bothered me quite a bit--I can only give the book 2 stars.
In The Prince’s Poison Cup, a brilliantly bright King of Life watches as his people listen to his archenemy and disobey the King, drinking from a fountain the King has forbidden to them. Having drunk from the fountain, the people’s hearts turn to stone, and the people start to hate the King. Thoroughly corrupted, they turn from the King and create a new home for themselves: the City of Man. It is a wicked city, full of hatred and filth, and at its center is another fountain, spewing poison. This poison is nothing less than the wrath of the King of Life himself. One drop would kill the strongest man. Yet, wanting to restore his fallen people, the King sends his prince to drink from the poisonous fountain. The prince obeys, spurred on in difficult times by remembering how much he loves his father and desires to please him. In the process, he is mocked and ridiculed by both the people and his father’s archenemy. Yet, as the prince dies and falls to the ground, the King of Life enters the city. The people and the archenemy flee as the King restores his prince back to life. At that moment, the poisonous fountain changes from black and filthy to glittery and pure. The prince fills his cup with the newly fresh, sparkling water and, with words carried by the wind, he offers the cup to all living in the City of Man. Some hearts soften to the prince; others remain hard. Yet, all who drink from the prince’s cup find themselves completely renewed and full of love for the prince and his father.
As with The Priest with Dirty Clothes, this book concludes with a set of very helpful discussion questions and supporting Scripture verses. The questions were very thorough. My only addition would be a question considering how the prince also might have been inspired in his obedience by his love for the people as well as for “the joy set before him.” This would highlight Jesus’ love for us and the way the Bible describes that Jesus endured suffering. Also, and only with young children, I would really stress that it’s only the prince who should try drinking poison.
(Thanks to Reformation Trust for providing me a free copy of the book in exchange for this review. I stand by what I have written, as I’m sure is already clear from my obvious desire to get a copy of this book!)
In the usual fashion of R.C. Sproul's books written for children; the tale begins with a little girl, Ella. However, Ella has a terrible sickness and doesn't understand why the medicine meant to make her feel better has to taste so bad. So as any little child she asks her Father that questions, to which he responds that it would be better to wait for Grandpa to come.
Once Grandpa comes he begins to share with Ella the story of the King of Life who had a beautiful park filled with happy people. Yet, there was one rule in this jubilant park- in the middle of the town was a crystal clear fountain, but the King warned his subjects that they were not allowed to drink from this fountain. Since there were many streams in the park the people for a time were content with not drinking from the fountain, but soon they became curious about this enticing fountain.
Disastrously, the King's archenemy comes to the park and begins to convince the people that there is nothing wrong with the fountain and that the King of Life unfairly wants to keep the best for himself.
The people are enraged by this and decided to drink from the fountain that the King had commanded them not to. Then a terrible thing happens, the people's hearts are turned to stone and they no longer love or want to be with their King. So they decided to leave the park and build their own city away from the King of Life.
The King of Life is angry when he sees what the people have done and would be completely just to destroy the people and their city since he had commanded them not to drink from the fountain. Yet, the King still loved his people and has a plan that involves his son, the Prince- and a terrible poison cup.
You will have to buy the book yourself to find out what happens to the Prince in his journey to the City of Man, but I have never read a children's book that so clearly details the truth of Jesus Christ in a way that even children will be able to comprehend. I found myself as an adult, thinking and meditating on the passages in John and about the wonderful mission that Christ completed when he came to earth and drink the bitter cup of God's wrath to save man's heart of stone.