Also by this author: His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, Jesus and the Very Big Surprise: A True Story about Jesus, His Return, and How to Be Ready, Jesus and the Lions' Den: A True Story about How Daniel Points Us to Jesus, Goodbye to Goodbyes: A True Story About Jesus, Lazarus, and an Empty Tomb, The Friend Who Forgives: A True Story About How Peter Failed and Jesus Forgave, The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross, The Storm That Stopped, The One O'Clock Miracle, The Christmas Promise, The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song
Series: Tales that Tell the Truth #5
Published by The Good Book Company on September 1, 2017
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
Buy on Amazon
God's very good idea is to have lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. This stunningly illustrated journey from the garden of Eden to God's heavenly throne room shows how despite our sinfulness, everyone can be a part of God's very good idea through the saving work of Christ.
This book will help children see how people from all ethnic and social backgrounds are valuable to God and how Jesus came to rescue all kinds of people. It will also excite them about being part of church.
Children’s books are everywhere.
Children’s retellings of Bible stories are everywhere.
And the quality…well…in my experience, the quality ranges.
How are we supposed to sort through it all?
Early on, with my kids, I developed some guidelines for choosing a children’s Bible storybook.
- Is the story biblically accurate?
- Is the story relationally applicable?
- Does the story’s language/vocabulary fit the intended audience?
- Are the illustrations diverse?
And whenever somebody asks me for a practical example of those four guidelines, I inevitably point them toward Tales that Tell the Truth. There are currently ten books in the series (the latest upcoming June 2020) along with a variety of supplemental materials like coloring books that accompany each volume. The series has a variety of authors with illustrator Catalina Echeverri providing a cohesive stylistic design.
God’s Very Good Idea | Tales that Tell the Truth
God’s Very Good Idea is the story of humanity in all of their diversity. In a clever turn, the book begins by contrasting God’s idea for humanity with a whole diversity of human inventions. From the outset, we see how different groups of people—men, women, and people of all ages and ethnicities—have mirrored the creative qualities of God. But all of those inventions pale in comparison to God’s Very Good Idea to make people. They would all be made in his image. They would all be like mirrors, reflecting what God is like.
The book affirms that God did not just make Adam and Eve, but he kept creating people, all in his image. But all different. Trillia Newbell doesn’t just focus on age or gender or race, but includes things like hair type and things people like to do for fun.
The overriding message: We are all different, but we are also all the same. Everyone you see is different than you, and the same as you. It’s a beautiful message that affirms the uniqueness of each individual human; the importance of cultural, ethnic, gender, and age distinctions; but also the humanity common to all of us.
The central panels see how people ruin God’s Very Good Idea through sin. Because of this, everyone needs forgiveness. People who like reading need forgiveness, and people who like riding bikes need forgiveness. People with darker skin need forgiveness, and people with lighter skin need forgiveness. People with curly hair need forgiveness, and people with straight hair need forgiveness.
The story moves into Gospel as we see how God has a plan to fix what people have ruined. It tells the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection, along with his future plan to finish his very good idea and make the world perfect again.
But there’s good news! As the people of God, we can be a part of his Kingdom right now! We can join together as a group called “Church” to enjoy loving God and each other. It’s a beautiful picture of diversity and inclusion that is all too often missing from our churches. God’s Very Good Idea is a paradigm-shifting book. It shouldn’t be. We should always have celebrated this diversity. But we haven’t. This is a needed book that will make the next generation better than ours.