Family Discipleship Part 3: The Lightlings & The Prince’s Poison Cup

Continuing this week with my Family Discipleship series, I want to share The Lightlings and The Prince’s Poison Cup, both written by highly respected theologian R.C. Sproul and designed to present deep biblical truths to children on their own level. These are beautifully illustrated allegorical tales. We’ve enjoyed them both with our children. They each contain a very helpful section for parents in the back with discussion questions and Scripture application.

The Lightlings

This is an absolutely gorgeous book telling an allegorical tale of Creation, the Fall, and Redemption based on 1 John 1:5 (“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all”). A grandfather tells his grandson a tale about the King of Light, who makes a group of people called the Lightlings, designed to shine brightly and reflect his light and glory. Eventually, they become afraid of the light and run away to live in the darkness. But, the King of Light loves them so much that he sends his Son to be the Light of the World and bring light back to the Lightlings. 

The illustrations by Justin Gerard are simply stunning…they alone are worth the price of the book! The story is beautiful, my one minor complaint is that I felt it ended rather abruptly right after the king’s Son is born. I was caught off guard, expecting it to go a little further. My little ones really enjoy this book. It holds their attention well and my 4 year old easily recognized that the baby was supposed to represent Jesus with no prompting from me. My older kids (12 & 9) enjoy it also. Overall, a well done, beautiful book.

The Prince’s Poison Cup

This is another allegorical tale from Dr. Sproul. This one focuses on the atonement and how Jesus endured the curse of sin to redeem us. A little girl asks her grandpa why medicine, something to make her well, tastes so yucky. In answer, he tells her a story about a great King who enjoyed a close, loving relationship with his subjects until they rebelled and drank from a forbidden well that turned their hearts to stone. The grieved father asks his son, the prince, to drink from a poisoned well in order to save the people.  Although he knows it will kill him, the prince is willing. Of course, the king brings the prince back to life. The people’s hearts of stone are healed, and the poisoned well turns to a well full of sweet, clear water. 

The story is beautifully told and illustrated. Of course, any allegory of redemption is going to be somewhat inadequate. After all, God didn’t just send his son to rescue us, he came himself as the Son! We have nothing comparable. Still, I think the book gives us a decent illustration to work with and it’s definitely a worthwhile read. Our family really enjoyed it, both the story and the gorgeous illustrations by Justin Gerard.

I highly recommend both of these storybooks.

(Reformation Trust graciously provided me with a review copy of The Prince’s Poison Cup. Our family already owned The Lightlings.)

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to subscribe so you don’t miss any future ones, and be sure to check out the rest of this series:

(Linked with Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family)

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  1. These both sound wonderful. We are always on the lookout for good discipleship materials for our family…thanks for sharing!

  2. Excellent post! I'm always looking for new books for our crew and appreciate good ideas like this.Btw, I see you support Wycliffe! We are full time with Wycliffe Associates – getting ready to move to Texas to serve at the Linguistics Center in Dallas.

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