If He Had Not Come {TOS review}

We received and reviewed a physical, hard-back copy of If He Had Not Come, a book written by Nan F. Weeks and reintroduced by David Nicholson.

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I have to admit that as early as it is in the holiday season, I am already looking forward to Christmas. Because of that, I was excited about the opportunity to review If He Had Not Come. I have already begun making my list of Christmas books we will read this holiday season. If He Had Not Come is a rendition of another one of my favorite Christmas stories/movies where we get to see how life would have been if a certain person had never been born. Sound familiar?

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We are walked through the story with Bobby, a young boy, who sits with his father as he reads through the Bible. It is Christmas Eve, the stockings are hung and gifts are under the tree. The daily Bible reading by his father before Bobby goes to bed is from John 15:22 and Bobby falls asleep with the words, “If I had not come,” circling through his head.

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Bobby wakes the next morning and as we turn each page of the book, the reader, along with Bobby comes to experience a life without Christ. There are no presents or a Christmas tree; people are hard at work at the factory; stores are open; and there is no church to be found. At various places, he is met with a sign that reads, “If I Had Not Come.” Other places like the children’s home, the hospital and the homeless shelter are gone. These are all places that would have existed, because of the love of Christ working through people. Since He does not exist, these places to help people do not exist.

The biggest shock is when he opens the Bible and finds the New Testament does not exist, because He did not come.

If He Had Not Come is geared towards children six years old and up and can be used as a family read or in a classroom, like Sunday school. The original story was published in 1938 as part of an anthology called Christ and the Fine Arts, by Cynthia Maus.

Nicholson was introduced to the story almost 30 years ago when his children were young. It has since become an annual traditional read for the Nicholson family and he wanted to share the story with a new generation.

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The book is hardcover with beautifully illustrated, glossy pages. Nicholson has taken great care in the appealing presentation of the book and Weeks’ story comes to life through the illustrations of Charles Jaskiewicz. When it comes to children’s books, I specifically note the detail and quality of the illustrations, because sometimes that is all a child needs to grasp the story. Jaskiewicz does a good job.

There are discussion questions at the end of the book. They are questions that are appropriate for younger children, so this would be a great family read-a-loud and also time to open the Bible and read through some of the related verses. A Gospel Message, steps for accepting God’s gift of salvation, is also included in the book.

I read through the book on my own, because it is a Christmas book and we do Christmas anything after Thanksgiving only. My oldest did read through the book and enjoyed the story. He agreed that it would be difficult to imagine life and a world without Christ.

If He Had Not Come will be one of the first books we read this holiday season. I know that we are going to have good discussions.

Of all of the story ideas, I have never read a book about or discussed with my children what the world would be like if Christ had never come. I am glad it will be just a discussion and that it was not reality.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
If He Had Not Come is available as a hardcover book for $18.95 and as an E-book for $3.99.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


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