Monday, December 3, 2018

God Counts - A Book Review


In this engaging, illustrated children’s book by Irene Sun, young readers learn how numbers declare the glory of God, discovering Bible stories and the truth, beauty, and goodness of our sovereign God through numbers and patterns. With countable illustrations and an easy-to-learn structure, children who are always seeking, finding, tracing, and counting numbers will be captivated by God Counts.

Through simple language kids will understand, God Counts shares theological truths and helps children become familiar with Scripture, exploring the patterns of creation, numbers in the plan of redemption, and the intimacy of a personal relationship with God. This children’s book explores how God counts every fish in the sea, every star in the sky, every hair on their heads, and every tear in their eyes.

By discovering numbers in God’s world and in his Word, parents help their children foster a deeper love and knowledge of who God is and how he counts them as his. Families will be enriched as they learn together how numbers magnify God—just as a telescope magnifies the stars—and each numbered lesson points to a larger redemptive story of Scripture. On each page, the illustrations engage readers, displaying not only a picture but a mosaic of patterns. 

This playful children’s book serves as a beginner’s theology book for young readers who love numbers and patterns, introducing the Trinity, the God of order, the holiness of God, the problem of sin, the rescue and love of Jesus, and much more. Children who love to count will be filled with wonder, leading them to understand deeper truths about God, themselves, and the world around them.

God Counts is colorful and contains much biblical truth. It's fun to count various objects with littles throughout the pages of this book. I appreciate that it included Scripture references. At times, the organization seemed a little random and scattered to me. It goes from:

to humans as image bearers
to the Trinity, cross, & resurrection (without mentioning sin)
to the beauty of creation
to new creation
to God speaking
to sins that God hates
to God's presence with us (like Joshua)
to the rescue of his children (like Noah)
to imaging God through the Holy Spirit
to God seeking his lost children
to forgiveness (of the disciples)
to eternity
to infinity.

One concern that I have about this book is that God Counts seems to assume that preschoolers are saved and heaven bound which could lead to a false assurance of faith if parents aren't careful to balance out what is presented here. God Counts lacks any call to repentance and faith. That being said, Number 11 does lend itself well to this discussion when it mentions that Judas did not return to Jesus for forgiveness, but the other eleven disciples did return and were forgiven. The final number reads:

"Twelve tells us we will live with God forever"

and the book concludes with:

"God counts all of your steps
Until you walk with him side by side.

God counts all of your days
Until you see him face to face..."

While there is much to commend in this book, in light of these particular issues, I would only recommend this to those who are grounded well enough in Scripture to balance out what they read with their listeners.

*Many thanks to New Growth Press for sending me a complimentary copy of this book! This is my honest opinion.

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