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A Carpenter’s View of the Bible by Charlie March

February 7th, 2011 2 comments

March, Charlie. A Carpenter’s View of the Bible. Enumclaw: Pleasant Word Publishing, 2010. 188 pp. $17.99.  Purchase at Amazon for $14.03 or the Kindle for $9.99.


Charlie March worked as a finish carpenter for 20 years while also serving in the local church as a Sunday School teacher. He has earned an MA in Biblical Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary as well as a PhD in Classics and Archaeology at Royal Holloway College, University of London. His time as a carpenter and Sunday School teacher has led to the writing of A Carpenter’s View of the Bible.


Divided into fourteen chapters, March approaches the Bible as a general contractor approaches a job site: beginning with the creation (design) of what is to be built and moving along until the job is finished and the last bit of material is swept and cleaned. Along the way, March offers a biblical theology of sorts from the perspective of one who builds and creates each day.

The basis of the book is the creative attribute of God that is shared by man. In other words, we have the ability to create because God has the ability to create. The difference being that God spoke and His words alone created. We, on the other hand, must use existing material to create. Nonetheless, March shows how we can and should glorify God with our creative minds.

Throughout the book, you will take a look at the importance of communication on the job sight through the lens of the story of the Tower of Babel and will glean a new understanding of walls in the story of Rahab the prostitute and the fall of Jericho. His chapter on the Tabernacle was most interesting and helped to bring to light some deep truths that are often overlooked.

In what I have artificially separated into a second section of the book, the chapter on a carpenter’s view of Jesus launches the reader into the New Testament. Here, we are treated to the parallels of Christ as a carpenter and his work as the savior…again, insight that until now, I had never noticed.

The book then concludes with chapters on the house church and heaven with the last word being about the importance of tying up loose ends on the jobsite.


I am sure some who would read A Carpenter’s View of the Bible would laugh and mock the author for stretching the Scriptures to say what he wants to say. I am not that person. Having been a construction worker myself, I found the insights presented by Charlie March to be refreshing and enjoyable. For example, I will never look at the story of Rahab the same again.

What is more, his insight into archaeological findings and studies proved to be extremely valuable in teaching the reader the importance of the carpenter’s view. Much understanding has been added to the way Jesus Christ lived his life before entering into the ministry. Since not much is said in the Bible concerning the first thirty years of his life, we must lean heavily on archaeological evidence and March does a wonderful job of weaving that information into the message while maintaining a Scipture alone approach to our understanding of what the Bible teaches.


I commend Charlie March’s creativity in writing this book. Even more, I commend him for staying true to the Word of God on every page.

If you are a carpenter, then you will most certainly want to pick up a copy of A Carpenter’s View of the Bible. In so doing, you will find that after reading it, you will begin to see the Bible from a totally different perspective. I also believe you will find that you will be more ready to share your faith with your fellow carpenters in a contextualize manner that does not strip away the meaning of the message. Even if you are not a carpenter, you will definitely find this book to be an interesting read.

The Potter by Cindy Starr Stewart

November 6th, 2013 No comments

The PotterStewart, 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.

The Lamp Maker by Cindy Starr Stewart

November 4th, 2013 1 comment

The Lamp MakerStewart, 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.



Joseph by Mac McConnell

December 1st, 2010 No comments

McConnell, Mac.  Joseph: A Father’s Journey.  Ft. Lauderdale:  OneWay Books, 2009.  130 pp.  $12.95.  Purchase at Amazon for $11.01 or less.  Purchase for Kindle for $9.99.


By this point, Mac McConnell needs no introduction.  If, however, you do not know about his ministry yet, please check out my past reviews on all of Mac’s books or check out his ministry webpage, One Way BooksJoseph is the third book in the Cradle to the Cross Trilogy.


Joseph is about the step-father (the earthly father) of Jesus.  We find a young Joseph looking to follow in his own father’s footsteps in the carpenter’s trade.  He meets a young girl named Mary.  They are set to get married when she disappears for a time.  Upon finding out that she is pregnant, Joseph wrestles with whether or not to divorce her.  We know from Scripture that he does not.  In this novel, they answer the “problem” by moving the wedding day up.

When the census is called, Joseph and Mary head to Bethlehem to be counted.  Here, they meet up with an Inn owner named Hadad who allows them to stay in the manger outside his inn.  Once the child is born, Joseph and Mary stay in Bethlehem for two years before being led by the Spirit to leave for Egypt.


Though this was the last of the three books in the Cradle to the Cross trilogy to be written, I believe it should be the first to be read.  Joseph ends with the family leaving for Egypt while Hadad and Bozra follow the life of this child to the point of His death.  Joseph really sets up the entire trilogy in my estimation.

Also, I have given nothing but high praises for Mac’s work through his novels.  That has not changed with Joseph though I do have some criticisms.  For example, I struggled with the way in which Mac portrayed Joseph as understanding who this child really was.  Joseph seemed to know what young Yeshua’s mission in life was to be.  I am not sure why, but that really bothered me as I was reading.  I kept having to tell myself that this was artistic license and nothing more, but even so, I found it to be somewhat difficult.

His handling of the pregnancy by the Holy Spirit was interesting though not unrealistic.  Even so, I struggled with that as well.  I am not sure why this struggle since the Bible never does speak to any of these issues per se.  I did find, however, that of the four books I have already reviewed, this was the one that stretched me the furthest.  That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and wished I had read it first in the trilogy.


Yes, even though I struggled some with the reading of Joseph, I still highly recommend this book.  If you are looking to read all three books in the Cradle to Cross Trilogy, I would suggest you start with Joseph and then move to Hadad and then read Bozra as it is in that order in the gospel narratives that we meet each character.  If you are able to allow for artistic license, even with men from the Bible, then this series promises to be one you will enjoy over and over.