I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a copy of What is the Gospel? in return for my honest opinion.
When I consider sharing the gospel with children, I usually think about the message of the cross: we are all sinners, fallen from grace. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we have been offered the free gift of grace and forgiveness, and the opportunity to become part of God’s kingdom–that great cloud of witnesses.
I have also approached the gospel through the message of the grace of God: salvation is a free gift, offered to those whom God has called. Through the cross, we have the opportunity to be adopted into the family of Christ…..
I often write about God’s kingdom: membership in His family comes with both privileges and responsibilities. We can become sons and daughters of Christ through the blood shed on the cross, and the grace of God that allowed it. We must disciple others and share God’s love for them. We belong to a community.
Presenting all three aspects (God’s cross, God’s grace, God’s kingdom) at once in writing, for children, can be a daunting task. Those are big concepts, even for adults. They are all important, all part of the gospel–the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, though, we have a tendency to emphasize one aspect of the gospel over another.
What is the Gospel? appears to be written with the expectation that children have already heard the message of the cross. Mrs. Groce makes no attempt to explain the story of Jesus, of the fall, or of God’s plan for salvation outlined in the Bible. Rather, the father in the story explains that God’s cross was necessary due to our sin that must be paid for. The ‘cross’ is a symbol of everything Jesus did for us, yet it is up to parents to explain what it is that Jesus did.
There is a letter from Pastor Jared Kennedy of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of the book explaining the importance of all three aspects of the gospel. He maintains that all three must be equally emphasized to maintain the integrity of the Good News.
At just 16 pages, What is the Gospel? could be a good springboard to deeper conversation between parent and children aged 4-7, or it could help clarify the discipleship work already occurring at home.
You can find What is the Gospel? at
Some more Christian Focus books for 4-7 year olds reviewed at Thinking Kids:
- 365 Great Bible Stories by Carine Mackenzie
- Great Kings of the Bible by Deepak Reju
- How God Changes People by Carine Mackenzie
- Words About God to Help You Worship Him by Nicholas Choy
- Colour the Psalms by Carine Mackenzie
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.