on 26 October 2010
I was blown away by Chan's message "Lukewarm and Lovin' It" and so I wanted to by both of his books geared towards adults, which I did. Then I saw he did a couple of children's books, which I snapped up for my little lambs.
The book is great. My children love it. The illustrations are fun and colourful.
The best part though is the strong message against lukewarmness in the life of believers. I feel this is a message for the parents as well as the little ones.
This is a good quality, hardback book that will last years if looked after well.
on 26 April 2013
I was looking forward to reading this for myself, as well as my 4-year old son, who typically does things 'half-heartedly' or halfway (as do I!). Although it does have a few good bits eg "Only telling half the truth is a whole lie", sadly I think the book misses the main point, i.e. Jesus. There is hardly any mention of him, apart from a mis-applying of a parable Jesus told. And there is no mention of being saved by grace. In fact the book seems to put forward the idea that you "must try harder" (implying that that is somehow part of our being saved, or at least that God loves you more when you're less-bad). Yes, he rightly points out that only God's Spirit can change us, but even in this he misses the point and makes it sound like receiving the Spirit is akin to "filling up our tanks with petrol" and is just a power/performance boost.
I would want to add a couple of things to that to get the right perspective. Firstly, yes we receive the Spirit when we trust Jesus, but we are not instantly changed + wholehearted. There is a process, and a battle between our sinful flesh and our desire to love God and so please him. So you could read Halfway Herbert, and think, "well I've prayed, and asked God to help me, and I'm still nearly as bad as before. So I must not be a Christian, I must not have the Spirit because I'm not changed as much as Herbert"
Secondly, the main purpose of the Spirit is to point us to Jesus, to get to know him better, to understand God's word, and to deepen our relationship with God. It is only as a RESULT of this that our actions, behaviour & heart are more inclined towards loving God and other more (and therefore doing things wholeheartedly!). Jesus himself in John 15:5 says "I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." So again the Spirit helps us 'abide' in Jesus - the focus is on Jesus, and not on the fruit of good works/deeds. If we focus on the 'fruit' it is as absurd as a fruit branch lying on the ground saying "I want to grow an apple. Come on, apple, grow!" - the branch can't do it on its own. The branch needs to be attached to the tree (aka vine), and then it WILL produce fruit. Because of the LIFE OF THE TREE, nothing the branch can do on its own! The focus shouldn't be on me and my behaviour really, I only grow to love Jesus more as I look at him, spend time with him.
I am returning this and his other book "The big red tractor" as it is similarly off-point and unhelpful. However, "Ronnie Wilson's gift" is far better - an illustration of "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me" (Matthew 25:40) - it clearly shows that the actions of loving others come out of a heart full of gratitude for what Jesus has done for us. So we are saved by grace and live it out!