Children's Books for Liberal Christians 4

Let me just be straight up. I am suspicious of things coming out of Ignatius Press. It is not usually my cup of tea. But here is The Illustrated Parables of Jesus

But my almost 4 year old really likes this book. And, I don't mind it.
Here is why.

1. I like the casualness of the book.   They are the parables.  Who doesn't love a good parable, they are broken up into little bits. I like that the pictures are comic style.  It just has a different feel than a lot of other Jesus books. Nothing about it screams "reverence and awe." 

2.  The narrator CAN reinterpret in a liberating way: 
The pictures are relatively androgynous.  So the parable of the Good Samaritan, which Junia LOVES the person who is beaten and left at the side of the road, the Samaritan etc can all become women.  What a relief!

Here's why I don't like it:

  • Once again, I am doing all the work as the narrator.  The reinterpretation that all English bible stories are is not reinterpreting gender, role, race, economic status, or power in any way. It is giving you exactly the same story that you think it will.
  • The parables come in a context, for example, the story of the Good Samaritan comes after Jesus get's kicked out of Samaria.  That's powerful stuff right. Jesus refusing to dehumanize those who have dehumanized them. He makes them the hero of the story.  Of course ALL is lost in this kind of book. There is no context.    I suppose that is true for most Children's bibles but it's still a lack.  


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