Kristin Stiles’ Review of SO, WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?: GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, by Carine MacKenzie

Published on October 1, 2019 by Benjamin J. Montoya

CF4Kids, 2019 | 24 pages

A Book Review from Books At a Glance

By Kristin Stiles



I’ll admit that I am a really tough critic when it comes to books which present the gospel for children. This is the most important topic in all the world and the abundance of false gospels that are peddled today makes it all the more crucial that basic books written to describe the gospel to children be accurate. With that said. . . Bravo, Carine MacKenzie!!

In this brief book, MacKenzie systematically goes through each aspect of the gospel. She begins with the inerrancy of the Bible as the basis for what we know about God. Then she walks the reader through creation and the fall and the results of sin. Next, she points out some of the prophesies pointing to a coming Savior and then His miraculous birth. She highlights Jesus’ sinlessness and shares about His sacrificial death on the cross and how that was necessary for taking the punishment that was due His people. MacKenzie describes the resurrection and explains that there were many eye-witnesses to the risen Lord. She tells her readers that God asks them to repent and believe in Jesus for salvation and then lists some of the Christian disciplines that should follow. Throughout her book, MacKenzie briefly reviews the most important concepts so that children who interact with this book should soon internalize the basics of the gospel message.

I said I’m a tough critic, so I do have to point out two things that I think are missing. First, I would have liked to have seen a clearer definition of sin. MacKenzie uses the word very frequently but never gives it just a single concise definition. I would encourage parents to do that when reading this book with their children and not just assume that the child already knows what it means. Second, in her list of what a Christian does after s/he is saved, she does not mention believer’s baptism. I’m guessing that she may hold to paedobaptism. For those of us who are credobaptists, we would want to include baptism as one of those Christian disciplines that should follow conversion. Overall, though, MacKenzie does an excellent job sharing the gospel in a simple, clear, and accurate way. Well done!


Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.

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CF4Kids, 2019 | 24 pages

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