The Story of God with Us (Book Review)

Gold foil flecks the cover of this gorgeous new release, which is on-sale now from Wolfbane Books.

  • Authors: Kenneth Padgett & Shay Gregorie
  • Illustrator: Aedan Peterson
  • Publisher: Wolfbane Books
    • This is the publisher’s debut title and I am so excited to see what else Wolfbane publishes!
  • Synopsis: The Story of God with Us provides a Messianic snapshot of Scriptures, beautifully proclaiming the truth of the Good News.
  • I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are my own.

Message and Clarity

Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must be born again. He also welcomed the little children, saying that the Kingdom of Heaven “belongs to such as these.”

The Story of God with Us beautifully conveys the message of the Gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven, with childlike simplicity that slices straight to the core of the Gospel.

Rather than dish out the large words so often heard from the pulpit Sunday mornings, Padgett and Gregorie use clear, simple language that is both accessible and meaningful. Without ever using the words “sin,” “grace,” “redemption,” or even “forgiveness,” the text resounds with these themes. For children, The Story of God with Us is a beautiful first-time introduction to the Gospel. For longtime-believers, the book is a sweet call back to the romance of God’s desire for His children.

Messianic Narrative

A messianic retelling of Scripture, The Story of God with Us captures major events in the Old Testament and New, witnessing the anticipation, coming, and reign of the Anointed One.

Readers experience the glory of Creation, the tragedy of the Fall, the pride of Babel and the choosing of Abraham. Peterson’s awe-inspiring illustrations provide a window into the temple where God chose to make His home with His people. Then, we see Him making His home with His people, as a person.

The book ends on a strong note— not demanding gratitude from the reader, but resounding with the truth of God’s power and with the reality of the Kingdom Jesus so fervently preached. AMEN!

Illustrations

I actually came across this book due to its illustrations, having just finished God of the Garden when author-songwriter Andrew Peterson posted about his son’s forthcoming book.

Aedan Peterson does such a great job of interacting with the mystical nature of God through His artwork. The illustrations, like the events they evoke, are not simple and straightforward. (As I write that, it occurs to me that this could seem to contradict my earlier statement about the simplicity of the narrative. What I am trying to say is that the things God does ARE mysterious but I think we at once strip them of their meaning and overcomplicate them when we slap down religious words, while missing their power. The simplicity of the text captures the beauty of God’s design and the power of His actions and message.)

Peterson’s artwork truly brings the story to life, with billowing clouds and smoke plumes, fire-flecked landscapes and swirling ribbons of light. The artwork possesses a gentle but tangible feeling of motion, through the flapping of bird wings, the lifting of a paw, the paths of the light and even the direction of water flow. These are pictures, like the painting in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, that feel as if they can be stepped into.

Invitation

The narrative, like the artwork, is invitational. (And, ahh! It’s a true story!) As I was walking around MeadowArc to get photos of the book and thought of its title, The Story of God with Us, the Lord spoke to me: “You’re living it!” And that, I believe, is the exact point of the book. It’s a true invitation to dwell with God both NOW “and forever, / world without end!”

Recommendation Status

This is a book that I highly, highly recommend. It brought tears to my eyes and brought me closer to Jesus. What more can you ask for in a book?

With Christmas around the corner, this makes for a beautiful gift and one that ushers in the true meaning of the season. For that reason, this book is also perfect for incorporating into the advent tradition. Either way, this is a fantastic treasure for the whole family!

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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