Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: How God Changes People

How God Changes People: Conversion stories from the BibleHow God Changes People by Carine Mackenzie is comprised of 20 conversion stories from the New Testament, each  contained on two facing pages with a full-page illustration to help capture and retain the attention of young readers/listeners. Like many other CF4K titles, this book is printed on colorful, heavy-duty paper that is kid-friendly, aesthetically appealing, and  holds up well to regular reading.

While I typically prefer to read short narratives directly from the Bible, a book of this nature can be advantageous for a number of reasons. How God Changes People accurately re-tells the Biblical account, including additional facts that aid understanding.  For example, Ms. Mackenzie's account of Nathanael, titled "Faith at the Fig Tree", explains: "A fig tree was often a place where devout Jews went to pray" (pg. 6). This helps young readers understand the significance of Christ mentioning that he saw Nathanael under a fig tree.

Furthermore, while many of these accounts are included in other popular children's Bibles, including Ms. Mackenzie's earlier work, 365 Great Bible Stories, How God Changes People highlights them with a special emphasis on how God brings people to a saving knowledge of Himself. For example, following the account of Lydia, Ms. Mackenzie writes:
"Conversion is a work of God's Spirit. God's Spirit worked quietly in Lydia's heart -- enlightening her mind to know Christ Jesus and renewing her will to accept him, as she listened to the gospel being preached. The fruit of the Spirit followed in her life -- showing love to Paul and his friends, kindness, goodness, gentleness -- in her hospitality" (pg. 40).
If you're looking for a simple, yet Biblical book to introduce your young children to God's work in conversion and the fruit that follows, you will likely find How God Changes People very useful. All of my children (ages 11 months to 10 years) enjoyed this book.

Many thanks to Christian Focus Publications and Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!

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