I received a copy of the book, “The Barber Who Wanted to Pray” by R. C. Sproul with paintings by T. Lively Fluharty. I received this book free from the publisher for the purposes of this review but that hasn’t affected my evaluation of it.
This is the only children’s book I’m aware of by Mr. Sproul. If it is indeed his first trip into children’s book it is a very good first effort. The story is about a father, after one of his children asks him how to pray, telling a story about a barber who had the same problem. One day Martin Luther wanders into his barber shop. The barber, knowing who Martin Luther is, and the danger of harboring this wanted man decides it would be better to learn how to pray from the man rather than turning him in and be safe. Luther instructs him how to pray through the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed. The book is well put together. The illustrations are fantastic (though I never imagined Luther as that large of a man. But when contrasted against the petit build of the barber it does server to illustrate the wealth of spiritual knowledge held by Luther and the lack held by the barber.
The end of the book contains the text of three things. First, the Ten Commandments are listed out as they would be printed in an ESV Bible (as are all of the scripture quotes). It is not surprising as the book is printed by Crossway and that is their “in house” translation. I like the translation myself but it is something to be aware of I suppose. Secondly, the text of the Lord’s Prayer is printed. Lastly, the Apostle’s Creed is printed out. It may sound funny but I believe that is the first time I can recall seeing the Apostle’s Creed in its entirety. It does make reference to believing in “the holy catholic church” in the Apostle’s Creed. At first that was a bit concerning for me as a non-catholic. Then, after some reflection, since the word catholic is used in lower case and since the Ten Commandments are listed in the protestant/Jewish numbering (in numbering the Catholic Church makes what is traditionally the first two commandments one and the last commandment two, I could go on about that but I won’t). So I don’t see this as a pro-Catholic Church book as much as using the term catholic in the Apostle’s Creed to mean universal (the actual meaning of the word catholic). I really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately my kids are a bit too old to really enjoy it. But I suppose I’ll just have to keep it around for grandkids.