Thursday, October 14, 2004

Naughty Heart, Clean Heart - By Susan Davis

Mary had a naughty heart and didn't know what to do...

By far THE BEST systematic treatment I have ever read on the subjects of righteousness by faith, substitutionary atonement, justification, sanctification, grace, authentic Christian living, prayer, and witnessing is written for 6-year-olds.

Published in the 70s, this children's book by Susan Davis follows the story of Mary, a little girl who had a naughty heart. No matter how hard she tried to be good, she just couldn't do it. So she did the only thing she could think of; she asked Jesus for a new heart. And you know what? He gave it to her. He traded his clean, perfect heart for her naughty one.

The book continues by dealing with the problem of sin, struggling with sinful desires, and Christ's perfect life. It culminates with Mary's friend Tommy choosing a clean heart for himself.

The book contains a foreword for parents and songs to teach your kids as they go through the story. I do this story over 9 weeks every couple of years with K-3rd graders in our local Christian school. It makes a big difference in their lives. I also find that it makes a big difference in my life. After each reading, I am better able to explain the gospel in simple and relevant terms.

Add this book to your list. But don't get your hopes up. It's out of print. At LNFbooks , you can put yourself on a waiting list for the next used one they get in. I'd give you mine, but the spine is torn and I have to read it every once in a while.


huggyporcupine said...

I was given this book by a relative, and I find it extraordinarily unscriptural. The part where it says "Mary's book in heaven is still clean. The angel began to write down Mary's sin, but Mary quickly saw her mistake and asked Jesus to forgive her," is particularly blasphemous. The sins of a Christian, even unconfessed ones, do not count against us on judgment day. Any child that grows up believing this will grow up afraid of death and more focused on being perfect than on loving God.

Christye Gillan Byrne said...

I too love this little book and songs. I use it all the time with my little girl. I'm saddened that the previous comment missed the point of the book: that our God is a God of love, justice, mercy and grace. The previous comment is correct in one thing: our unconfessed sins do not count against us on judgement day; they count against God. Remember, the Great Controversy is not between us and God - it's between God and Satan.