A quick glance at the T.V. screen and the list of stories on your web browser reveals an America increasingly defined by violent street protest, Black Lives Matter, The Alt Right, football players kneeling, and Confederate monuments being torn down. The chaotic world of American race relations is touching everyone, including our children.
Entering into to this dark world with Scriptural brightness, Trilla Newbell wrote the book, God’s Very Good Idea, to help children understand why people are different, why differences lead to conflict, and how Christ unites differing people with his love. Newbell’s book reveals how our human differences fit into the gospel with a simplicity and colorfulness that preschoolers can relate to and that adults can appreciate. Given our time, I believe Newbell’s book is a very good idea. I am thankful to her and to the Good Book Company for having the foresight to publish this delightful book.
Summary of the Book
The illustrated pages begin with creation, detailing how God creates all kinds of different people who all reflect his image, having hearts full of love. But because Adam and Eve sinned and because we sin, God’s very good idea was corrupted by sin. People began to fight with each other because they were different. Thankfully, God does not leave people in their sin. Jesus came to live and die to forgive people for sin. He made a way for people to once again love him and to love each other. He redeemed the lost so that all kinds of people would be a part of God’s family. As the book says, “God MADE it. People RUINED it. He RESCUED it. He will FINISH it.”
Why Get It?
I encourage you to grab a copy of this book because Newbell does an excellent job of placing the discussion of human differences within the gospel narrative. She neither minimizes nor ignores the reality that different skin colors and hobbies can lead to tensions. She places the blame for racial conflict in the heart, knowing that racial struggles are truly heart struggles. Our differences are not the result of sin. But they have been influenced by sin. Consequently no subset of people is inherently better than another group of people. And no group is more like God than another group. All men and women are created in the image of God. All are fallen. All can be redeemed by the blood of the cross. We live in a day where people are quick to violently divide over differences. Newbell’s message of peace via the cross is desperately needed and extremely helpful. If you want to equip your kids a biblical perspective on how to relate to people that are different than them, I encourage you to grab a copy of God’s Very Good Idea.
Can you think of a better idea?