THE BIG GOD STORY by MICHELLE ANTHONY (a Dad in the Middle Review)
The Bible is many things. It is the true and inerrant Word of God. It is guidance for our lives. It is the record of our Lord and Savior. It is also a story. It is God’s story of His interaction with mankind. The Big God Story by Michelle Anthony does a great job of capturing that story in a way which is both biblically accurate and engaging for kids. From the dawn of creation, the book weaves its way through the fall, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, the wondering in the desert, Joshua, the period of the Judges, Saul, David, Daniel, Esther, the exile, Nehemiah, the period of silence, the nativity, the disciples, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the second coming. All of that – in only 32 wonderfully illustrated pages. Never mind the kids, this book serves as a great survey of the entire Bible for people of all ages.
From the very name of the book “Big God Story,” I liked the focus of this book. It is not a book about a bunch of historical guys who did awesome things, it is a book about how God has worked throughout history to accomplish his plan. The first words of the book summarize its intent:
This is not just any story. It is a true story, full of mysterious people and secret plans and last-second escapes. It’s God’s Big Story, and every part tells us about His promise to love us.
This is a book that every parent should read to their children. It is a review and an outline and a story and a starting point for a deeper review and study of the Bible. It is a framework that presents the meta-narrative of the Bible in a way kids can get. It will remind them of stories they have already heard and prompt them to ask questions about stories which are referenced that they might not fully know. It is the perfect way to get kids interested in, and excited about, the Bible. Most importantly though, this book keeps the main thing the main thing. This is a book about God. It’s about God’s plan and God’s work and God’s grace, and those themes are presented throughout the book.
As I do with most books I review, I subjected it to the most extreme test I know. That “what do my kids think about it” test. My seven year old daughter took the book and read it herself. Her response, “it was good.” That might not seem like a rousing review, but she is a very discerning reader. My three year old made me read it to him over and over again. Each time through he recalls a little more and asks even more questions. I love a book which is great for my older kids to read on their own and also captivating when read to a pre-schooler.
I would definitely recommend this book to any parent and to anyone interested in giving kids a solid foundation in biblical truth and the story of God as presented in the Bible. This is definitely not a “read it once and put it back on the shelf” type book. It is a resource we will go back to time and time again.
There is also a great companion site at http://www.davidccook.com/BooksKids/biggodstory/ which provides even more insight into the book including things like story backgrounds, word definitions, conversation starters and activities for a number of the stories included in the book. These will be an additional great resource for parents who want to use the book to go deeper with their kids.
Michelle Anthony is the pastor of family ministries at Rockharbor Church in Costa, Mesa California, and family ministry architect for David C. Cook publishing. Check back next week when I will review Ms. Anthony’s other book – Spiritual Parenting.
I was provided with a free copy of this book for purposes of doing this review. That did not in any way influence how wonderful I thought this particular book was.