If you’re needing a little encouragement to do family devotions, or if you’re looking to spur someone in that direction, you’ll want to get your hands on The Barber Who Wanted to Pray by R. C. Sproul and T. Lively Fluharty. This book is a great encouragement to be reading the Bible, singing the Bible, and especially praying the Bible with our families. And it’s beautiful.
The message of the book is simple: pray the ideas in the Lord’s prayer, the ten commandments, and the Apostle’s Creed. This point is made through a poignant account of an encounter between Martin Luther and his barber, into whose hands Luther put his life. It’s only gradually revealed that Luther is the outlaw with the price on his head who sits down in the barber’s chair.
I read this book aloud to my older two sons, who have learned a little about Luther and are a little familiar with the reformation. When the moment of revelation came, they gasped aloud, exclaiming, “Martin Luther!” That reaction, for me, was the best part of us reading this book.
What will keep me coming back to this book, and what has me even now marveling at it, turning its pages slowly, are the works of art it contains. Don’t get me wrong: I believe in the importance of praying Scripture, and I love stories about Martin Luther. But the paintings by T. Lively Fluharty deserve more contemplation and consideration than can be given as a parent reads this book aloud to children who want to hear how things turn out.
R. C. Sproul has told a great story here, and T. Lively Fluharty brings it alive with lasting beauty.
If you’re looking for a good gift as we near the Christmas season, this would be a good book to put in the hands of anyone who has children, anyone who wants to pray, or anyone who might be drawn by great art to the God who works for those who wait for him.
If you like this one, don’t miss Fool Moon Rising by Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty (what a name that guy has!).
I don’t know if Fluharty has captured the historical circumstances, or if he just has a thing for cats, but judging from his paintings, Luther’s town was over-run by them. [There's a mouse in the last painting, and that little guy is glad that these are Muggle paintings. If they were housed in Hogwarts, the cats from previous pages would be on the chase.]
Crossway is committed to truth, goodness, and beauty. You can see it in projects like this one. Praise God for Sproul and Fluharty, and praise God he has given us his own word to pray back to him.
Related: Biblical Theology for Kids!