I was excited to receive an advance review copy of Champ Thornton’s new book, The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith. All of the endorsement’s made it sound wonderful, and because I have kids at home I’m always looking for something that will engage their minds and hearts. Scanning through the book itself was even more exciting than my expectations.
First, let’s be clear that this has no connection to the similarly named book by David Platt. That being said, The Radical Book for Kids is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It’s full of charts, crafts, graphs, recipes, illustrations, and humorous approaches to teaching kids about the Bible. (The Hebrew alphabet explained with Star Wars names is probably my favorite.) What is the goal of all of this? Thorton says that he hopes the book “will be used by God to grow deep roots of faith in the children who read it.” Specifically, he wants like all parents to see kids “love, trust, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ.” And I think it will.
Of course, there is no book, formula, or mechanism for guaranteeing spiritual life in anyone. Only God calls his people to himself through the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8, 15; 1 Pet 1:3). But even in that, God uses means. He uses the means of his powerful Word which gives life (Rom 10:17). He uses the means of his people who preach and teach, both in person and through their writings (John 21:24; Acts 2:14-41). But if there is any book that could be used by God to capture the imagination of young minds and point them to the Savior, it’s this book.
Thornton provides help for young people to: navigate the Bible’s different books, read and pray over the Word carefully and thoughtfully, understand how other believers have lived faithfully before God, and many other things. But above all, he writes to help them see and understand the gospel of Christ on the pages of Scripture.
In good reviews, one is supposed to point out something that needs correcting or could be improved. I might find something like that in the future. But, after my first, quick read through, all I can say is that The Radical Book for Kids is the most creative tool for children’s discipleship I’ve seen. I can’t wait to put into the hands of my own children.
It’s hard to fully appreciate this book without holding it in your hands, so enjoy a glimpse: