BOOK REVIEWS

The Church History ABCs: Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-28 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 24 user ratings
ISBN:1433514729
LANGUAGE:English

" Really fun and inspiring for children. " said.

" A fun little introduction for kids. " said.

" Thanks to Amy Kruis at Crossway Books. " said.

" excellent, book on the basics of church history of children arranged alphabetically.great illustrations & interesting trivia.written by two local, Lancaster authors " said.

" This is obviously a book geared at children, but aside from seminarians and history buffs, I bet that anyone who reads it will learn something. I certainly did. I read it with my 4 year old and we had a few good discusssions. It made me want to read more biographies and church history to connect some of the dots the book set down. " said.

" We just bought this for our children for Christmas and read through it the other night. It's not a bad introduction to these particular heroes of the faith, and it includes a number of "fun facts" about each person (Jonathan Edward's favorite foods were cheese and chocolate, John Wesley invented a "electric shock machine" for the treatment of illness, John Owen is buried next to John Bunyan, etc...). Colorful pictures and some funny "blurbs" throughout, as well. " said.

"Just as it is important for us to teach our children about the Bible when they are young, it is also important to introduce them to the people that played a key role in church history. One particular book that that I have found quite helpful in this regard is The Church History ABCs: Augustine and twenty-five other heroes of the faith. Using the twenty-six letters of the alphabet as a starting point, this book introduces children to the following heroes of the faith:

A - Saint Augustine
B - Anne Bradstreet
C - John Calvin
D - John Donne
E - Jonathan Edwards
F - John Foxe
G - Jane Grey
H - Hippolytus
I - Ignatius
J - Absalom Jones
K - John Knox
L - Martin Luther
M - Monica
N - John Newton
O - John Owen
P - Patrick
Q - Queen Jeanne
R - Nicholas Ridley
S - Charles Spurgeon
T - Tertullian
U - Zacharias Ursinus
V - Antonio Vivaldi
W - The Wesleys
X - Francis Xavier
Y - Florence Young
Z - Ulrich Zwingli

Each page introduces readers to a new letter and a new hero of the faith, with approximately 1-2 paragraphs talking about their life and what it is that made them an important part of church history. The last four pages of the book have additional biographical information about each of the men and women from church history introduced earlier in the book. My wife and I found this book to be ideal for reading to our children at dinner time, but I suspect it would also work well for reading at bed time. If you read one page per day, you can get through all twenty-six heroes of the faith in just under a month. I highly recommend this resource for helping your children age four and older learn their ABCs and some church history all at the same time.

Author Information:
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School. He has written several books, including Pages from Church History (P&R Publishing, 2006). He lives with his wife and two sons in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Illustrator Information:
Ned Bustard, a graphic artist, has written and illustrated many children's books, including Ella Sings Jazz, The Story of Sir Galahad, and The Sailing Saint.

Disclaimer:
This book was provided by Crossway for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Comment
" said.

"Children's books on church history are rare, good ones even rarer and ones that can appeal to all ages rarer still. The Church History ABCs by Stephen J. Nichols and Ned Bustard is a children's book that certainly falls into the latter category. You would think that a book about church history would be geared towards older children and a book about ABCs would be to kindergarten-age children. How then does Nichols and Bustard manage to quite successfully marry the two concepts?

Each letter of the alphabet features a prominent figure from the history of the church. There are the more well-known ones such as Calvin, Edwards and Spurgeon. But there are also some not-so-well-known people like John Donne, Hippolytus ("Let's get one thing straight, my name is Hippolytus, not hippopotamus"), Tertullian, Vivaldi and Florence Young. Each person is accompanied by a brief informational snippet about that particular person, written from his or her perspective.

The beauty of each letter/person is that every piece of information can stand on its own depending on the age of the children. For instance: "'A' is for apricot, apple and Augustine - Africa's ancient bishop." That alone is enough to teach a younger student to associate a letter with a name as well as other common items such as an apple. For the student that is a little older, the biographical information can be included. For the more curious/able student desiring to know more, there is still further information about each person at the end of the book.

The real fun part, however, is in the illustrations and can probably be turned into a game of sorts. Hidden in each illustration are clues about that person that will be answered either in the brief biographical sketch on the same page or in the fuller paragraphs at the end of the book. For example, "A" is for apricot and apple, but why is there a pear on Augustine's page? What's up with the heart John Calvin is holding? Why on earth is Jonathan Edwards wearing an Indian headdress and eating chocolate? Why is Spurgeon holding a sword and a trowel? The subtleties in each illustration make discovering more "secrets" about that person all the more interesting. (And don't think we didn't notice the cigars in Spurgeon's pocket!)

This is an excellent resource for children of all ages to learn about great people God has used down through church history. I'd give this book 6 out of 5 stars if I could.

(Thanks to Crossway's Homeschool Book Review Program for the opportunity to read and review this book.)
" said.

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