Posted by Bambi
I have had my eye on Simonetta Carr’s Church History books for children, for quite some time. Pricey, they are. So when Cross Focused Reviews offered a free copy for a review, I jumped on the opportunity.
I believe one of the missing disciplines in the lives of Christians is the study of church history. Studying church history produces in us a humility as we read of our Christian forefathers who served Jesus unto death. It puts our own meager efforts in perspective when we read of martyrs, willing to give all.
Also, church history can help us see our error. If we don’t read of the errors in the history of the church, we are doomed to repeat them. Old heresies can creep up again and again and it helps to have a knowledge of them. Therefore, we have quite a few church history resources on our shelves here at home. But aside from a few mediocre biographies, I just haven’t been able to find much for the 7-10 range to cut their teeth on.
Simonetta Carr’s Anselm of Canterbury delivered. While the information can be dry, the story of Anselm is presented in an engaging way for younger students of church history. Also, the illustrations are particularly beautiful.
Have you ever heard of Anselm? I hadn’t either, but I have long been impressed enough with Carr’s collection of titles, to know that I should know who he is. <blush>
Anselm was a great theologian and deep thinker, who lived during the time between Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. That is, the 12th century. Therefore, Anselm lived in a world quite different from ours. In Anselm of Canterbury, the big questions before Anselm, and therefore what Carr presents to young readers are, “Why did God have to become man? If God can do anything, couldn’t He have saved His people some other way?” With clarity and simplicity, Simonetta Carr presents Anselm’s Biblical answer to this question in a way that children can easily comprehend, without over-simplifying the concept.
Carr is certainly a gifted author, and the words of truth come off the page in an easy-going manner, not coming across as “preachy.”
While Carr’s books are said to be written to children as young as seven, I found that Anselm was way over my (almost) seven-year-old’s head. Sarah Grace, who is eight, had more understanding, but honestly… it took some effort on her part. However, by age 9-11 I think just about any kid would enjoy and benefit from the book, taking away knowledge they didn’t previously have. In my opinion, the book is a great length for narrations if you are of the Charlotte Mason persuasion 😉
I would really love to add the rest of Carr’s titles to our shelves:
Augustine of Hippo
Lady Jane Grey
I think Anselm of Canterbury is an excellent childhood introduction to the life of this great thinker. You can purchase the book at one of our favorite book stores: Monergism Books.