Jesus (Big Theology for Little Hearts) – Devon and Jessica Provencher

Jesus Big Theology Little Hearts
Jesus by Devon Provencher, Jessica Provencher
Also by this author: God, The Gospel
Series: Big Theology for Little Hearts
Published by Crossway Books on February 18, 2020
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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Big Theology for Little Hearts
Each book in the Big Theology for Little Hearts series introduces a big idea from the Bible with concise definitions and engaging illustrations to help young minds gain a foundational understanding of God's word.
With each volume written to complement all the others, this series is designed to help children develop a cohesive framework of theology that includes God, creation, humanity, Jesus, and the gospel-allowing you to start having crucial conversations with your children as early as possible.

Big Theology for Little Hearts is a book series that believes you’re never too young to learn about our faith or the words we use to express it. Each book in the series focuses on one theme and several terms that Christians use about that theme. The goal is to explain in the simplest of words what these things mean. Written by Devon Provencher and illustrated by Jessica Robyn Provencher, Big Theology for Little Hearts is designed to engage even the youngest children in developing the language necessary to talk about our faith.

This volume of the series focuses on Jesus, with the defined terms being:

  • Deity
  • Incarnation
  • King
  • Son of God
  • Rescuer
  • Sinless
  • Prophet
  • Priest
  • Atonement
  • Resurrection

After each term is a simple, one-sentence definition. For example, “Incarnation” is defined as “Jesus took on a human nature and lived among us.” The accompanying illustration in a picture of Jesus in all his humanness—a blue tunic and white robe with labels for his hair, head, arm, hand, body, leg, and foot. If I wanted to quibble about this definition, I would personally be firmer in the fact that the Incarnation forever humanizes Jesus. He didn’t take on a “human nature;” he became human. It’s serviceable for its audience, but not as clear as I’d like.

I also found it odd that the Provenchers didn’t include the terms “Lord” or “Christ.” These are the biggest theological terms applied to Jesus. If the goal is for our youngest children to be conversant in the way in which we talk about Jesus, these are crucial terms and it’s a grave oversight to not include them.

While this volume fares better than The Gospel, the book’s weakness is that it doesn’t actually do what it claims to do, which is offer simple definitions of theological terms. The structure seems somewhat random and there isn’t a great logical flow or progression in how the panels are arranged. Some of these are pretty nitpicky critiques (like, why would you not put King in sequence with Prophet and Priest?) Rescuer feels out of place, as it’s not a direct term applied to Jesus. It’s not inaccurate, but it’s not a theological term. If the goal is to help children understand theological terms, this book had great goals but comes up short.