Emblems of the Infinite King: Enter the Knowledge of the Living God by J. Ryan Lister

The Synopsis:

In an imaginative journey through the grand story of the universe, this book introduces kids ages 10+ to God’s radiant beauty using the main categories of systematic theology: God, humanity, sin, Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church, and last things. Full of captivating illustrated “emblems” meant to symbolize key facets of Christian doctrine, this unique book seeks to bring theological truths from words to life. The creative design combined with rich theology will challenge young readers to search God’s Word for important answers to big questions about themselves, God, and the gospel.

I received this book from the author via Amazon’s Vine Voice program for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


“The Creator did the unthinkable; He became part of His creation. For sinners like you.” -Emblems of the Infinite King

Emblems of the Infinite King: Enter the Knowledge of the Living God is the Gospel presented as a journey. It takes you, the reader, on a very detailed and beautifully described life-journey that begins with God creating everything, and ending with a challenge to discover the truth for yourself in His Word.

I really love the heart and passion of this book. The author wrote it to speak specifically to the reader, so it’s written in second person, as the author describes what happens as you walk this journey through faith.

It’s the Gospel that the author illustrates through creative analogies and mental pictures that give it an enticing and interesting edge. One of my main complaints about it though, was that as I read the story and re-visited the basics of Christian faith that I’ve learned throughout my years at church, was that the author did not include very many verses in his storytelling. And though I did agree with the soundness of his theology, it irked me that there really weren’t any scripture references of where the Bible said or implied what he was saying.

After finishing the book however, I see now that it was because the author wanted the reader to delve into the Word after reading the book and its challenge at the end of the pages– with the full list of scriptures that he referenced in each chapter throughout the book. The author wants you to hear the full story of the Gospel before encouraging you to look it up yourself and studying the Word in its wholeness. Which made the lack of scripture throughout the book make more sense, though I would have preferred that to have been stated somewhere in the beginning or at least a footnote included in each chapter to reference where those scriptures could have been located if one wanted to find them.

Emblems of the Infinite King is recommended for ages 10+, but in some of the chapters, I would say even older just because of how deep the author goes into some of his discussions and the vocabulary used might go over their head. But, I do think this a great book for introducing the Gospel or even just to re-visit and grow one’s knowledge of the Gospel.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it especially to youth groups or Bible studies!

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