Friday, December 28, 2012

Reviewing R.C. Sproul's The Priest With Dirty Clothes

When I finished reading The Priest with Dirty Clothes, my seven-year-old daughter asked if I have other books like that. I think that is a clear indicator that she was a fan of this book. My daughter Rose who is in the fourth grade said this was a good book and that she enjoyed the whole storyline. After going over the 12-question study guide at the end of the book, we decided to check out other picture books at the Ligonier Ministries site written by Dr. Sproul. We definitely plan to read more of his books in the near future.

Dr. Sproul dedicates The Priest with Dirty Clothes to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Before he begins the story, there is a letter to the parents explaining the purpose of the book. The Priest with Dirty Clothes is based on one of Dr. Sproul's favorite passages from the Bible, Zechariah 3:1-5, and it is recommended that the passage is read with children prior to reading the story. The story starts off with a brother and sister coming home extremely muddy, and a grandfather telling them a story after they get cleaned up. The grandfather tells his grandchildren of a priest who got his special clothes muddy. Because of this, the priest was not permitted to preach before the king and was told to preach the next week with clean clothes. Unfortunately, the priest's clothes were permanently stained so he went to the prince to get help. The prince told the priest to go to the king with his dirty clothes and to trust that the prince would take care of everything. The priest was confused as to how his clothes would get cleaned, but he did as the prince instructed. When the priest came before the king with muddy clothes, an evil magician and others shouted at the priest. At this time the prince walked into the room and presented the priest with the prince's beautiful clothes. The priest put on the new clothes, and the prince put on the priest's dirty clothes. The priest was now allowed to stand before the king. He would go on to deliver his best sermon and would continue preaching about the prince and wearing the prince's clothes. The story concludes with the grandfather explaining how Christ washes our dirty hearts and creates clean ones - how Christ took our sin and gave us His righteousness.

It has been a blessing to have read a couple of Dr. Sproul's modern classics, Chosen by God and The Holiness of God. These books helped me to better understand predestination and God's holy nature significantly. In The Priest with Dirty Clothes, Dr. Sproul helps children (and adults) better understand another all-important topic, the imputation of Christ's righteousness. Although imputation is a weighty topic, The Priest with Dirty Clothes is not told in a manner that is above the heads of lower or upper elementary students. The plot is easy to follow, the words are age-appropriate, and the pictures are colorful and fun. The book has all of the elements needed to keep the attention of today's millennials. I have read a number of books to my girls over the years, and you are not going to find too many children's books that are as captivating while explaining themes of such crucial importance. My daughters and I heartily give Dr. Sproul's book, The Priest with Dirty Clothes, our Wickersham stamp of approval.

Although I will receive a free copy of this Reformation Trust publishing title as compensation for this review, a positive book review is not required.