Now i grew up with these blue books, and i have many good memories of my parents reading them to me before going to bed at nite. I believe many have been blessed with developing a love for the Bible thru this series of 10 books, but recently, reading them over to find stories for little ones i am staying with, i see some big problems. The number one problems is the philosophy of “unconditional love”. No, it is not said in so many words, as that phrase doesn’t seem to be used by hardly anyone in the 1950s when these books were published, but the language is clearly pointed in that direction.
Just a few examples from the book in front of me now – Volume 8, Part 2. Yesterday i saw a bunch of fish in a huge tank by the river, so my eyes caught the title of Story 10 “Money in a Fish”. In talking about the temple tax money, it says: “It seems that the tax at that time was half a shekel, and Jesus, while willing to pay it, didn’t have that much money.” But the Bible says: Matthew 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them… So Jesus did not want to pay the money, as he was above the temple. Plus, it is highly likely that his disciple who kept the funds for the group had at least this much money, but no, Jesus wanted to show Peter a miracle to increase his faith it seems.
Chapter 11 says: No matter what anybody says or does to us,we will go on loving him just the same.” But the Bible says: Hosea 9:15 … I will love them no more… The next chapter says of Jesus’ kingdom: “In his kingdom love, and love alone, ruled”. But the Bible says: 2Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
This is just a small, almost random sample, showing serious error in theology in these Bible Story books. I pray that anyone having this series of books vets it very carefully, and changes the wording in places before reading it to your children!!!
Speaking of children, one of Arthur Maxwell’s sons – Graham Maxwell – is the man who wrote a book called “Servants or Friends” which is very firmly in the camp of “unconditional love”.