Stewart, Cindy Starr. The Potter. 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.) You can read the review of Cindy’s other book, The Lamp Maker here.
In this children’s book, Cindy looks at the Potter who fashions the clay. She takes the reader on a journey from digging up the clay and then fashioning it in whatever manner the potter wants. The illustrations are fun and will keep the young eyes attentive as the pages are read and reread.
As for concerns about this book, you can read my review of her other work here. In this instance, to better understand the Jeremiah 18 passage, we must look at Romans 9 where Paul explains it more fully concerning matters of salvation. Specifically, read verses 13-24:
As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
This has admittedly been a difficult passage for theologians through the years, but the reality is, the Potter will do with the clay whatever He wants.
Regardless, what Cindy is striving to accomplish is to be applauded. In a very real way, she is getting the gospel message of Jesus Christ out to children and parents alike. That is to be commended.
Despite my concerns about the free-will issue and the use of the Potter/clay analogy found in Scripture, I still recommend this resource to the discerning parent and children’s minister.