The God Contest: The True Story of Elijah, Jesus, and the Greatest Victory – Carl Laferton and Catalina Echeverri

The God Contest Carl Laferton
The God Contest: The True Story of Elijah, Jesus, and the Greatest Victory by Carl Laferton, Catalina Echeverri
Also by this author: The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross, The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross Board Book, The Christmas Promise Sunday School Lessons: A Three-Session Curriculum With a Family Service Outline, God’s Big Promises Bible Storybook, God’s Big Promises: The First Christmas: Sticker and Activity Book, God’s Big Promises: Advent Calendar and Family Devotions, Christmas Uncut: What Really Happened and Why It Really Matters, God’s Big Promises Christmas Sticker and Activity Book, God's Big Promises: Easter for Little Ones, God's Big Promises Easter Sticker and Activity Book, 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, God's Very Good Idea: A True Story of God's Delightfully Different Family, 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 #11
Published by Good Book Company on January 1, 2021
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
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Teach children about two extraordinary events in history when the God of the Bible proved himself to be the one true God.
Kids today are faced with a huge range of different views on who God is (or isn’t). How can they be sure who’s got it right?
This beautifully illustrated hardback storybook for children aged 3-6 is written by the team behind The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross. It retells two extraordinary events in history when the God of the Bible proved himself to be the one true God.
First it takes children back to Elijah’s time and the gripping “God contest” between the God of the Bible, Yahweh, and the false god Baal. Then it fast-forwards to a different mountain and another “God contest” at an empty tomb.
Once the evidence is examined, it invites kids, in a world of so many options, to decide with confidence to join Team Jesus.

The God Contest is a picture book that is the latest installment in the Tales That Tell The Truth series. Just like the previous books, it combines colorful, engaging illustrations from Catalina Echeverri with text that expresses biblical truths in a direct, child-friendly way. This book has some especially arresting artwork, including double page spreads where the reader needs to turn the book sideways. I enjoyed the artistic flair and the way that Carl Laferton shares the story of Elijah calling on God to prove himself in contest against Baal, whom the Israelites were worshiping at that time. Laferton then connects this story to the story of Jesus, showing how Jesus’s rise from the grave won the ultimate “God Contest.” The book concludes with an encouragement for children to make up their minds about God.

The God Contest: The True Story of Elijah, Jesus, and the Greatest Victory is a great option for Christian families and churches. I greatly enjoyed it, and appreciate the direct and immediate narrative voice, which demystifies complex concepts for children. I like how the author incorporates an explanation of the name “Yaweh,” and absolutely love one of the final page spreads, which shows a line-up of about twenty diverse Christians from throughout history proclaiming together that Jesus is God. This surprised and delighted me, and I enjoyed recognizing many of the faces and reading their names. This was an excellent touch, and a moving addition to the story.

The only reason why I am not rating this five stars is because I did not prefer the language of being on “Team Baal” or “Team Yaweh.” This turns into “Team Jesus” at the end, and even though I understand what the author was going for, it didn’t work for me. It made me think of love triangles from series like Twilight and The Hunger Games, and also evokes a sense of tribalism that is counterproductive in today’s cultural climate. However, despite this quibble with the wording, this is an excellent story and meaningful book that I would definitely recommend.