A time travelling plot is a staple in children’s books. Like what I reviewed last January, there is always room for this kind of story. Stories like these embrace the unknown that give such thrill to our little ones.
In the case of Christian children’s books, time travelling is not the end of itself. The story must lead to the gospel. Speaking the gospel in the story shouldn’t be just an afterthought. It must be the center. We must always show the essentiality of the gospel or else we might lessen its importance to our children. I’m happy that this new book by Bible teacher, Sinclair Ferguson brings the gospel to the center. How? By going back to the beginning.
So what do you mean by “beginning”? Jesus birth? Moses leading the Israelites? Abraham? Noah? Adam and Eve? The creation? No. Although those are great moments of history recorded in the Bible, that’s not the beginning I’m talking about. It’s way much farther than that. It’s the time when the Godhead “planned” on saving people. It involves every person in the Trinity. Usually, when we tell our kids a story about the beginning, we start with the creation or Adam and Eve. Sometimes telling it as it is without involving the redemption theme that runs through the Bible, makes stories like this one in children’s books, just a nice story for kids. But The Magnificent Time Machine, Sinclair Ferguson takes you to the very beginning to tell the most important story.
It’s one thing that you travel back in the beginning of time passing by pivotal moments of history including biblical events but it’s an awesome thrill for your kids to go back forward to the present carrying that “plan”. In the book, this “plan” shines the other events of the Bible making sense why those things happened and why it matters to everyone. Ferguson cleverly crafted that story that’s why I enjoyed it. As a Calvinist, it brings up the whole redemption theme in the Bible. Also going back to the beginning of time as the Godhead plans their rescue mission to the world, Words like “election” and “predestination” pop up as I enjoy reading this short volume. Although it was not directly pointed out, it’s a superb treat for us who hold on the doctrine of grace.
Although some of the dialogue here between the Trinity is not recorded in the Bible (I think I heard Ferguson tell the similar conversation somewhere) we can see the involvement of the Godhead and their harmonious relationship even in the redemption of sinful man. This story highlights more of God (obviously) more than man in biblical narratives. Indeed it the highlight we want to see and to show our kids. Ferguson ends the book that allows kids to now share the “plan” of God for others. I love that kind of ending that doesn’t just tell the gospel but also encourages our young ones to share the gospel.
Artwork: The cover is eye catching and will pull you to read this time travelling adventure. The design for the time machine and the professor are good but everything else is not on point. I can’t see consistency in the art here that will wow kids who will read this. I think the artist should have poured more of his talent in this short book. This might not be a big thing for some but I think the artwork is part of experiencing the book. I wish to give this book the highest score but for me the artwork is the hindrance for a 5. Nevertheless the story is amazing.
The Magnificent Time Machine “to eternity past and back” that centers the “plan” of God as the most monumental “event” in history. This book will help your kids unpack that truth.
4.5 out of 5
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