March 2016

Garden, the curtain and the crossOne way in which to describe how the Bible presents the plan of redemption is through story. The message of the Bible can best be told as a story and kids love stories. Kids love stories with colorful and unique pictures to help them picture the story. The best children’s books combine both of these.

That is why parents and children will love The Garden, The Curtain, and The Cross: The True Story of Why Jesus Died and Rose Again written by Carl Laferton and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri (The Good Book Co, 2016). This book combines great story telling with amazing original and unique picture art to tell the real story of God plans of redemption for young kids.

As the title indicates, this book tells the story of redemption through the lens of the garden of Eden, the curtain in the temple, and the cross. What threads these three things together is the desire for God to be with boys and girls but the separation that their sin causes. This is where the curtain takes a central role in communicating that reality and how the cross resolves the tension that sin brings.

There is everything to love about this book. The story telling is captivating and rhythmic. The picture art is truly unique and can almost tell the story itself without the words. Kids, and parents alike, will love reading through this book over and over again.

I received this book for free from The Good Book Co. through Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Recently Christian Focus has sent me a number of books to share. While I am not able to provide complete reviews of all of them, I wanted to provide a brief overview of each on to help you decide if they are something you might be interested in.


Christian Pocket Guide to Suffering by CosbyA Christian’s Pocket Guide series has been a great series of short books on various topics ranging from the Papacy to Loving the Old Testament. The latest book is A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Suffering by Brian H. Cosby. In short, this is an excellent book on suffering. Cosby roots every chapter in the Bible’s teaching on suffering. He discusses issues such as the causes of suffering to its cure. While our culture wants to deny the reality and effects of suffering, Cosby shows how the Bible presents a view of suffering that matches the reality we live in and gives us the best hope of redemption from it – Jesus Christ. If I were to recommend just one book on the biblical view of suffering this would be it.




The Focus on the Bible series is a wonderful series of devotional commentaries on all the books of the Bible. The most recent installment is Joel & Joel and Obadiah by Iwan JonesObadiah: Disaster and Deliverance by Iwan Rhys Jones. A few things about these books make this series stand out. First, these books are light commentaries and as such they are completely text driven. While they are not deep academic commentaries, they dip into the text enough to stay rooted. Second, they are devotional. This is a series of books that have found a good balance between commentary and devotional material. Finally, these books have a tremendous focus on application. Because the commentary portion stems from the text the application portion is rooted in the text. I recommend this new addition to the Focus on the Bible series along with all of the others.




Theodore Beza by Shawn D. WrightIf you like (or love!) studying Calvinism then Theodore Beza: The Man and the Myth by Shawn D. Wright is the book for you. I am slowly working through this one and so far it is fantastic! While Calvinism is predominately tied to John Calvin himself, it is Theodore Beza who pushed Calvin’s theology to the next level and developed his system into what would later be called Calvinism. He basically put the Calvin in Calvinism. Wright first puts Beza in his historical context and then the following chapters are organized around the main ideas of Beza’s theology. This book really rounds the rough edges that have characterized Beza’s theology for years and allows the man to be seen for who he really was – a lover of Jesus Christ. This is a book for those interested in Calvinism and historical figures in general.




If there is one member of the Trinity who has more books published about him then it is the person of Christ. While there is always room for Person of Christ by John Owennew books to be written, sometimes the best books on a subject have already been written. Once such book on the person of Christ is Johns Owen’s The Person of Christ: Declaring a Glorious Mystery – God and Man. Christian Heritage has recently published this book as part of their commitment to make classic Christian works available for generations. Sinclair Ferguson says it is “one of the most important books you could ever read,” and Mark Jones said, “If there is a richer book on Christology in the English language, I am not aware of it.” This is a must have book for every Christian!





I received these books for free from Christian Focus & Christian Heritage for these reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”