(Book Renew) The Biggest Story


Biggest StoryReviewed by: Kendra Smalley, Professional Writing Student at Taylor University

 


Introduction

Title: The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden

Author: Kevin DeYoung

Illustrator: Don Clark

Publisher: Crossway

Publication Date: August 2015

Format: Hard Cover

Length: 119 Pages

OVERVIEW

Told in an entertaining style and accompanied by whimsical illustrations, this book covers the Bible by linking many well-known stories into one concise metanarrative about God’s promise to redeem humanity through Christ Jesus. It is split into ten chapters, which include information from Genesis to Revelation. The first two chapters cover the fall of humanity and its results, focusing on Adam and Eve, the flood, and the Tower of Babel. Chapter three is about the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as more notes about the sins and flaws of humanity. The expansion of the Jewish people and their escape from Egypt is covered in chapter four. Chapter five discusses Moses and the commands God gave him; it also notes the disobedience of the Jews and God’s continued efforts to set them on the path of righteousness. Chapter six continues the theme of disobedience, punishment, and promise as David, Solomon, and the split of Israel are examined. God’s promise of a savior and Israel’s stubbornness are reiterated in chapter seven, and in chapter eight we read of the birth and death of Christ. Chapter nine bursts with hope through the resurrection and ascension of Christ, as well as the gift of the Holy Spirit. Finally, chapter ten sums up the metanarrative, reinforces the truth of God’s promises, and affirms the coming hope of Heaven.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

4 out of 5 stars

This book deserves four stars out of five for its relative clarity of relating the complexities of the Bible. The emphasis on humanity’s sin seemed somewhat overdone, yet there were also frequent reminders of God’s grace.

Suggested Audience

This is a book written for children who already have some knowledge of the Bible and are not new believers. The book occasionally seemed to assume the audience previously had heard some of the stories, and it sometimes jumped around chronologically. However, for a child who has previously been exposed to the stories of the Bible, it is written in a fun, comprehensible manner that will keep the attention of the young reader. The audience is also assumed to be entirely composed of Christians because there is no mention of salvation through faith, though it does urge readers to continue to believe and trust in God.

Christian Impact

In general, this book closely follows the Bible; however, it tends to over-emphasize some aspects, while diminishing others. There is a heavy focus on how humanity continues to rebel against God. Some of this could have been omitted in order to provide more space to discuss Jesus, who was only in the last few chapters. I was surprised that Jesus’ life and ministry were given only one chapter. Although it is mentioned that Christ taught and performed amazing miracles, no details are given about said doings. Moreover, the audience is assumed to be Christian because there is a lack in clarity about who will be saved and why. The book details hope for the good and punishment for the bad, but it doesn’t mention salvation through faith.

This book does a good job affirming the Bible’s overarching narrative of God’s promise of hope to humanity despite our sins and rebellions. At times, however, the book seems to emphasize humanity’s sin more than necessary, and it occasionally jumps around in a somewhat confusing manner. Because it is written for children, it is a short book, and the author’s somewhat light-hearted style kept it engaging. Moreover, the illustrations that accompany the text are unique and beautiful.

Kendra Smalley is studying English Literature and professional writing at Taylor University in Indiana.


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