Stewart, Cindy Starr. The Lamp Maker. Illustrated by Dan Drewes. Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2013. 30 pp. $13.95. Purchase at Amazon for less.
Cindy is married with five children living in Pennsylvania. She has taught physics for middle schoolers up through the college level though she enjoys teaching Scripture more than physics. You can read more about Cindy at her website. Dan Drewes is a professional illustrator whose work is quite amazing. Check out his website for more. (Note: it is not all Christian-based.)
Cindy writes a children’s book using the metaphor of a lamp, an item that shines forth light into darkness, and a Lamp Maker. She challenges the readers and listeners to trust in Christ. The illustrations are well done and vividly portray the words on the page.
The Lamp Maker is a fun sing-songy read for children learning to read but more for adults reading to their young children. I enjoyed that on every page, Cindy proclaims Christ whether it is through her words or the verses found at the bottom of each page.
I am concerned with her “free-will switch.” While I agree that we freely choose to obey Christ (this is a deep theological discussion!) I disagree that our choice is sovereign over the will of the Lamp Maker. To illustrate the issue, she concludes the children’s book with a “prayer” to be read and that by reading it sincerely and believing it, “Your name is written in the Book of Life.” I disagree with that mechanism of finding salvation. Salvation is found in repentance and believing in Christ. Furthermore, she states that once you have believed (sign the page in the back of the book), “You will know, that you now, that you know, that you know.” In other words, your ability to freely choose is undermined by God’s sovereignty.
That being said, this book is still one of the better children’s books I have come across in recent years with the advent of self-publishing and independent publishers. I can recommend The Lamp Maker to the discerning parent and children’s minister for use in their home or ministry. Just be prepared to answer questions when reading it.