“There seems to be the same difference between hell, purgatory, and heaven as between despair, uncertainty, and assurance.” -Martin Luther, from his 95 Theses
In honor of Reformation Day, I want to share with you a new children’s book about Martin Luther that I fell in love with.
I got it free from Crossway Books just in time for reformation day. If you’re interested in obtaining your own copy (which you will be), check out this link to order.
The Barber Who Wanted to Pray is a beautiful hardback book by R.C. Sproul, with paintings by T. Lively Fluharty, who illustrated Fool Moon Rising, also from Crossway.
The story begins with the McFarland family gathered around the table for devotions, when one of the young daughters says she’s ashamed to pray aloud because she can’t pray like her daddy. Thus, the dad’s explanation on prayer turns into a story of how a barber once asked a customer for help on how to pray.
The man in the barber’s chair receiving the shave is none other than the "outlaw" Martin Luther, banished by the emperor for his "heretical" teachings.
What this really is is the story of how Luther came to write the little book, A Simple Way to Pray. The method Luther wrote about, and which is included in this book, is brilliant, beneficial for any adult as well as children.
In the back of the book you’ll find the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Apostles’ Creed typed out for kids to read or memorize (in the ESV, of course).
This reminded me a lot of the book John Calvin: A Children’s Story Behind the Legacy by our friend Kerri Tittle at ReformationKidz. Her book also includes the book on CD, read by Jim Hodges, which is also a great family story! If you hop on over right now, hers and other books on the reformers are on sale for Reformation Month!
But back to The Barber, there’s a funny thing hidden in this book that I caught on to after a while. For whatever reason, in nearly every illustration that Martin Luther is in, there is a cat somewhere in there, too! Even the lining on the inside cover sticks with the theme. Does anyone know of a connection between Martin Luther and cats? Maybe there’s a genuine reason why our friends’ cat is named Martin Luther…
You might want to take the time today like I did to read Luther’s 95 Theses. You can read it here (which is also a huge sermon archive for Spurgeon!), or a printable/downloadable version here at ReformationKidz.
Happy Reformation Day! Soli Deo Gloria!