Book Review – The Prince’s Poison Cup

It’s not every day that you come across a story that not only helps your child understand something he doesn’t like to do, but (and more importantly) one that uses the same principles to illustrate a great Biblical truth.

In R.C. Sproul’s The Prince’s Poison Cup, a grandfather explains to his granddaughter that some things like medicine, while tasting horrible, help us to feel better.  While he doesn’t really give an answer as to why this is, he uses it as an illustration to teach a greater truth.  He tells the little girl the story of a people who disobeyed a King’s command not to drink from a beautiful fountain.  Even though the fountain was beautiful to look at, the water was bad for them and turned their hearts to stone.  In order to heal them, the King’s son takes his Father’s cup to another fountain in the City of Man to drink the poisonous brew, even though he knows the drink will kill him.  The Prince dies, but is raised again by his Father.  As a result, many of the people’s hearts are changed and love the King once more.

The Biblical parallels in this story are unmistakable.  Sproul weaves the story in a way that makes it very easy to point out to children the similarities to Jesus’ death and why it was that he died.  There are two strong parallels made to the Scriptures.  The first is that Jesus (the Prince) willingly does what His Father asks of him out of love for the Father and for the people.  The second parallel is that because Jesus drank the cup of poison, the Father’s anger is turned into the sweetest water.

It should be noted that the story isn’t a straight point-for-point allegory of the atonement, but I don’t think the story was meant to parallel exactly.  In illustrating the people’s disobedience, the Father’s love, the Son’s willingness and the new life found only in coming to Jesus, this book does an excellent job.  The guide for parents at the end of the book is helpful in pointing out where in Scripture the concepts in the story can be found.  My children enjoyed listening to the story and were able to see the links between it and the Bible.


One Response

  1. […] last, and perhaps the best of the best is a book given to us entitled The Prince’s Poison Cup by R.C. Sproul.   Every time I read this story to my children, I am moved by the love God has for […]

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