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Book Reviews


Book Reviews > Bible, children > Conduct for the Crayon Crowd

Ray VanNeste

Ray VanNeste
Director of the RC Ryan Center for Biblical Studies and Assistant Professor of Christian Studies

Conduct for the Crayon Crowd
Edna Gerstner
Details: 1997, Soli Deo Gloria, Amazon.comISBN: 1573580619
Posted: March 4, 2003


This is indeed a very interesting book. It is a collection of stories written by the wife of John Gerstner for their daughter Rachel (collected before she turned six) explaining and discussing biblical truths. Apparently the manuscript lay in a shoebox ‘undiscovered’ for sometime before someone convinced Mrs. Gerstner to allow it to go to print.

The book contains 36 stories covering love, marriage, death, the Ten Commandments, election, the will of man and many other theological concepts. These are not primarily stories which Mrs. Gerstner tells to Rachel, but accounts of interactions between the two in various situations around the home. Perhaps the most endearing element of the book is the intimate glance provided into the home of such a respected couple. One finds an honest portrayal of a mother busy with a home and three children who is nonetheless always watching to capture any moment to teach biblical truth. There is a clear and strong respect and love for the husband and father who clearly functioned as the pastor of his family.

The stories are presented as real conversations with numerous ‘rabbit trails’ being chased along the way. This gives a real and immediate feel to the stories but made for less pleasant reading for this reader. Some stories were more compelling than others. The one entitled ‘How to Get to Heaven’ was excellent with a great object lesson about our inability to earn salvation and our need of grace. In summary, this book will make interesting reading for children and for parents learning to be intentional about seizing teaching moments.

Ray Van Neste

Union University