Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Book Review: The Barber Who Wanted to Pray by R. C. Sproul

Illustrated by T. Lively Fluharty

The Barber Who Wanted to Pray is a wonderfully illustrated account of Martin Luther and his barber, Master Peter, who takes the opportunity to ask his hero in the faith how to pray more effectively. While R. C. Sproul is known for his biblical teaching and knowledge of church history, the illustrations make this book a treasure. I read it over the course of two evenings with my youngest children (ages 7 and 5) who studied each page intently.

The story of Luther and Master Peter is couched within the life of a modern family who are having evening devotions and the question of one of the children prompts this particular tale. Luther's method for prayer centers on the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Apostles' Creed. Those who are not familiar with the Apostles' Creed might stumble a bit over it but should know that it has an important place in the development of Christian doctrine.

In terms of the story-telling, I found myself wanting to change the wording for my young children, to soften its meaning for their ears. For example, one part of the story speculated that Master Peter could easily cut the throat of Luther the outlaw with his razor blade. Another part of the story mentioned capture, burning at the stake, and execution. These were realities of the day, I'm sure, but I found myself improvising with a new way to say the same thing.

This book is not for Lutherans only or Reformed Christians only. It is for anyone who wants to know more about church history and to understand a simple way to pray. Click here for more information on Crossway's site. Also available in ebook format.

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