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Review

God’s Names

by Sally Michael
September 2011 | Review by Elisabeth Epps
  • Publisher: P&R Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-59638-219-0
  • Pages: 120
  • Price: 12.99

God’s Names is designed to generate ‘an interactive dialogue between adult and child as you discover God’s character together, as revealed by his names’. It looks at 18 OT titles for God e.g. El-Shaddai, a Strong Tower, the NT address ‘Father’, 5 for Jesus Christ, and 1 for the Holy Spirit.

      It’s helpful to know that the material was previously published for junior-age Sunday school, and it has been redeveloped for use in the home. It is tastefully and thoughtfully presented with a colour, hand-painted illustration for each chapter and comes complete with pronunciation guide. It would make a great basis for family Bible times or quiet times with an individual child.

      Each chapter contains text that could be read in about 5-10 minutes, but will take much longer to work through when engaging with the questions throughout the text plus the ‘Learning to trust God’ end section – suggestions for further reading, discussion, singing, prayer and an activity. Although not as imaginative as I might have liked, the activities range from making a poster or booklet, to talking to or doing something for someone else. Consequently, several days or even a week could be spent on each chapter.

      The heart of each chapter is a faithful and vivid retelling of the Bible story in which the name appears, or story(ies) which demonstrate that aspect of God’s character. The book’s biblical theology is strong and the first chapter about Jesus includes the correlation between some OT names for God and titles given to Christ. Perhaps a whole chapter devoted to the OT / NT transition would have been even better.

      The text is brilliantly interspersed with little summaries of the Gospel and as a parent I was especially encouraged by the way the author hasn’t shied away from soliciting a personal response to the truth presented, and challenging the child in their witness for Christ. It’s an excellent resource that I look forward to using, and hope similar material might be produced on more names or other themes.

 

Elisabeth Epps,

Stevenage

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