Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Reformation Trust Publishing The Prince's Poison Cup

Reformation Trust Publishing The Prince's Poison Cup

When young Ella gets sick and has to take yucky medicine, she wonders why something that will help her get well has to taste so bad. She puts the question to Grandpa, and he tells her the story of a great King and His subjects who enjoyed wonderful times together--until the people rebelled against the King and drank from a forbidden well. Suddenly, the beautiful water in the well made their hearts turn to stone, and stop loving the great King. They leave the beautiful park where they enjoyed fellowship with the King, and build a city called the City of Man. To reclaim His people, the King asks His Son, the Prince, to drink from well a in that city filled with horrid poison. The poison will surely kill the Prince--but He is willing to drink it to please His Father and help His people.

Richly illustrated, The Prince's Poison Cup is designed to present deep biblical truths to children on their own level. In this work, Dr. R. C. Sproul focuses on the atonement to show that Jesus had to endure the curse of sin in order to redeem His people from their spiritual death. Children can begin to appreciate the great love of God for His people and the awful price Jesus had to pay because of sin. A "For Parents" section provides assistance in unfolding the biblical elements of the story. Recommended for ages 6 to 10.

Average Customer Rating:
4.909 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(11 Reviews) 11
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (11 reviews)
5 stars
10
4 stars
1
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
10 out of 10100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Prince's Poison Cup
Review 1 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wonderful Allegory to Help Children Understand

Date:January 20, 2014
Customer Avatar
MIMom
Age:25-34
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Prince's Poison Cup is an allegorical book that begins with a little girl, Ella, who has a stomach ache and is given medicine by her father. Unlike the sugary syrups in today's world, this one did not impress the child and she asked the question, "Why does medicine taste so bad if it's going to make us well?" Her father passes the baton to her grandfather who then tells the child a story about the King of Life who can create anything; He has created a beautiful park for His people and enjoys walking in it with them. He also created a lovely fountain, but gave them strict instructions not to drink it's clear flowing water. Of course they are tempted by his archenemy, and their hearts are turned into stone as a result. They leave the park, set up their own dark city and remain in that state until the Prince enters their city to rescue them. Sent by the King, the Prince must fill a golden cup with murky, smelly poison that bubbles up from their city's fountain. When he drinks it, he dies, amongst a triumphant cold-hearted crowd. The King enters the plaza however, brings Him back to life, and the fountain is transformed. The Prince offers this new water as life to all who would come.
After reading the book once to make sure it was theologically sound, I read it to my four-year old. He loved it and has requested it multiple times the past few days. What did he enjoy about it? First, he liked the fact that there was a king and prince involved. Next, he loved that the story was similar to the redemption story of the Bible. After every page, he would point out that "the King of Life was like God, because He created the whole world too!" or "the archenemy was like Satan who pretended to be that naughty snake and lied". It could be just the boy in him, but he didn't really seem to get into the background story at all, usually zoning out at the end, and I think this book would have been just fine without Ella and her Grandpa. The only thing he said was missing was that the Prince needed a white horse just like Jesus, though I had to remind him that Christ won't come riding on His white horse until the end. :)
I also thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The illustrations (by Justin Gerard) are lovely and capturing, from the rounded cherubic faces of those filled with love for their Creator, to the hardened, chiseled features of those whose hearts have turned to stone. The author, RC Sproul, is also the founder of Ligonier Ministries. On their website, he states that he started his ministry to "faithfully present the unvarnished truth of Scripture to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness." I believe he accomplished this masterfully in this children's book, as even my four-year old was able to see the allegorical comparison. You can tell Sproul focused on every detail, hinting back to Scripture when he could (There are some great discussion questions and Biblical references at the end of the book). I loved the progression of sin that you could see with the people and the fountain (James 1:14-15, I John 2:15-16), and how he subtly establishes the respect for wisdom from the elderly. Personally, my only fault was at the end, where the Grandpa notes that the origin of sickness was brought about by sin- I felt that his contrasting explanation of this medicine to the cup of poison was forced. In the end however, I highly recommend this book, as yet another creative way (I'm always looking for them!) to teach such the story of God's love, sacrifice and redemption for us.
Disclaimer: I am blessed to be receiving a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

We too know the Prince who had to die.

Date:January 7, 2013
Customer Avatar
Sufficient in Jesus
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Prince and the Poison Cup is a story that little Ella Cobb's wise, old Grandfather tells her one day when she was not feeling well. Ella is questioning how such "terrible" tasting medicine can possibly make you well. Grandpa reminds her that “Some things that look or taste or smell wonderful are really awful."
"But sometimes things that seem terrible are actually very good." Grandpa adds. "I even remember a story in which both of these strange things were true. Would you like to hear it?”
He then begins to weave the story of the King of LIFE, whose archenemy enters into the King's country and tempts the King's subjects to drink the pure looking water of a poisoned fountain, promising that it will make them as great as the King. What the water does is gives them hearts of stone and causes them to hate their King. They leave the beautiful park that He had created just for them and fled to the desert to build the city of Man, a city of rebels.
"The King of Life was angry that the people had disobeyed Him. He knew that because of the people’s terrible violation of His command, He would be justified in destroying their city. But the King still loved His people and felt sorry for them in their pain." How can the heart of stone that they chose ever be removed so they can return to the King as his people? Only if the King's own Son, the Prince, goes to the rebel's city and drinks from their fountain with the cup His Father gave Him can the curse be removed. The Prince will die from drinking the poison, but it will make the water of fountain sweet again and the people will have the opportunity to drink and heal their hearts.
When we read the of the anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, we often, like the disciples, want to run from the suffering of God's Son. Justin Gerad illustrated this account to show the anguish of the Prince, who longed to put away the cup from Him. It was not He that desired the poison- it was not His sin that needed atoning- the people did not deserve a Savior. They desired their fate- yet the bitter cup was pressed to His lips! And he chose to drain it for the salvation of the people who hated Him!
If Anyone is Thirsty, Let Him Come to Me and Drink.
This book by R C Sproul is one I am looking forward to using with children. For adults it reminds us that along with little Ella we too know a Prince who died for His people. I was blessed to be given a copy of the Prince's Poison Cup for this review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Incredible Book!!

Date:November 21, 2011
Customer Avatar
The Reformed Reader
Location:Louisville
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Book Review:
The Prince’s Poison Cup
The book begins with a little girl named Ella. Ella is sick and her Father wants her to drink some medicine, which does not taste good. Ella asks her Father, “why medicine always taste bad?” Ella’s Father tells her that this would be a good question to ask your grandfather when he arrives. Grandpa arrives at their house and Ella asks the question. Grandpa sits her down on his knees and tells her a story, which explains why medicine tastes so bad.
Once upon a time there was a king named “The King of Life.” This king created a park and everything within it. This park was very extravagant and had a beautiful fountain at its center. Every day the King would visit this beautiful park and spend time with all the people, plants, animals that inhabited it. He told all the people that they could drink from anything in the park except from this fountain. At first everyone ignored this fountain, but over time the people began to get curious. One day a stranger with a long dark coat entered the park. This stranger was the arch enemy of the king. The stranger told the people that the water wasn’t bad at all. He told them that the water would make them as great as the king himself. The stranger filled up a cup of water and gave it to the people. The people then drank from it. When the people drank from it, their hearts became stone. The people no longer loved the king. The people stopped coming to the park and created a city and named it "The City of Man." The king knew all this would happen and he already had a plan for the people. The king went to his son, the prince, and told him that he wanted him to help the subjects. The king told him to go to the City of Man and there he would find a fountain. This fountain was ugly and filled with poison. He told the prince that he would have to drink from this fountain. When the prince arrived at the city, he noticed that the city was not pretty and the people were not loving. Upon arrival he was treated very badly, because the people noticed him for who he was, the king's son. The prince begin wish he didn’t have to drink from this cup. Greater than his fear of drinking from this cup was his desire to please the king. Next to the fountain in this city was standing the king's archenemy. He handed the cup to him and the enemy filled the cup with the poison. The prince drank from the cup and it was bitter. He drank the entire cup, even while it was burning. As a result of this he died and the man in the black coat laughed. All of a sudden the king of life walks in and his light fills the city. The archenemy tells everyone to run. Everyone runs in fear.The king touch the prince and brought him back to life. At the moment the water became clear and beautiful. The prince then filled up a cup and offered it to the people. The prince said to them, "If anyone thirst let him come to Me and drink." All those who came to him hearts changed. The people's lives were changed. All the people return to the park and joyfully rejoiced in what the king had done. Grandpa then told Ella that people get sick as a result of sin. This is why the medicine which makes our bodies well tastes so bad. The prince's had to drink something far more terrible, so that his people might be healed. Every time you have to drink terrible tasting medicine, remember what the prince had to do for his people. Ella concludes this story, by telling Grandpa of how she knows a similar story saying, "And do you know what? I know another Prince who died for His people.”
Once again, I absolutely love R.C. Sproul’s childrens’ stories. All of Sproul’s stories are saturated in scripture and point the children to Christ. I would highly recommend this to all parents. I think this story is a great tool for those parents who desire to develop memorable theological themes within the lives of their children. The book additionally is full of great pictures. I love this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Publisher: Reformation Trust
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 46
Binding Type: Hardback
Book Grade: A+
~Reformed Reader~
+4points
4of 4voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The book and DVD are wonderful.

Date:October 9, 2011
Customer Avatar
Bible lover
Location:clovis, ca
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The story is a beautiful parallel to the story of Christ and His sacrifice of love on man-kinds behalf.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 18, 2011
Customer Avatar
Share and Learn Together
This story begins with a little girl who is sick and must take some medicine. This causes her to wonder why something that is supposed to make you better tastes awful. Her grandfather answers her question by telling her a story about a prince who had to drink a terrible poison. As the story unfolds children can see that like Jesus this prince is obedient to his father even to death and they can see the wonderful gift of salvation that is offered.
I would highly recommend this book. It is very difficult to find children's books like this one that accurately portray the truths of Scripture. The story is interesting and the illustrations which are by Justin Gerard are captivating. In addition, at the end of the book are great questions with Bible verses that will help parents teach their children the Scriptural truths that are presented in this story.
(Reformation Trust Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair critique.)
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Deep yet Kid-Friendly

Date:July 7, 2011
Customer Avatar
mfuller
Location:Beaverton, OR
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Prince’s Poison Cup is an allegorical retelling of the Gospel in a non-threatening and child-friendly way. The illustrations are plentiful and beautiful. (I especially like how the book is tan colored, so when the King of Life is drawn he is brilliantly bright.) There are enough Biblical concepts and truth in this seemingly simple tale to keep a parent busy for many readings. I think that is the true brilliance of Dr. Sproul and this book! He is able to take a very complicated story and retell it in a way a child can understand without sacrificing truth.
The King of Life creates a park for his people to enjoy and gives them freedom to drink from the streams but not the fountain, as the fountain would harm them. The people drink and as a result their hearts turn to stone. The King asks his son the prince to take his golden cup and drink murky poison to heal the hearts of his people.
There are some especially deep, yet simple, concepts in the book that I really liked, like explaining the consequences of sin. “But a terrible thing happened when the people drank the water—[of which they were forbidden to drink] their hearts turned to stone. After that, they no longer felt any love for their King. They didn’t even want to be with Him anymore. (p. 14) Dr. Sproul doesn’t go into the Holiness of the king requiring punishment for sin, but he does cover depravity with the idea that the people’s hearts were turned into stone.
Another deep concept is the foreknowledge of God that people would sin: “The King was very wise and had known that the people would drink from the fountain, and He already had a plan to help them. (p. 16)” The book even helps to explain the righteousness of God by saying that “The poison was made up of the King’s anger over the people’s disobedience. (p. 16)” The Prince (or Jesus) has to drink the poison for us in order to heal our stony hearts.
The end of the book also has ideas and Bible verses to help answer questions that will come up. For example, in answering what happens after you trust in Jesus? The book gives you Ezekiel 36:26: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Referenced on p. 40)
This book is a wonderful addition to any collection and is far from a fluffy children’s Bible story. I certainly recommend it to anyone with children.
(I received this book for free from Reformation Trust Publishing in exchange for my honest review)
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

great basic presentation of the gospel

Date:May 10, 2011
Customer Avatar
Ben Umnus
Location:Wisconsin
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recently, I stumbled upon another children's book written by Dr. R.C. Sproul. I enjoyed reading his kid's book: The Priest with Dirty Clothes earlier in April 2011. After finishing that book, a friend told me about another kid's book Dr. Sproul wrote called The Prince's Poison Cup. Not exactly the most positive sounding of book titles I'll admit, but I wanted to see if this would be something both educational and exciting for my future kids. I'm actually glad I read this children's book second, because it compliments The Priest with Dirty Clothes.
The Prince's Poison Cup very simply put, is an allegorical tale. This story begins with a great and powerful King nicknamed 'the King of Life' who creates an entire city and its people. The city was beautiful and everyone within the city was happy until an evil enemy deceives the cityfolk. This shadowy foe persuades them to turn against the King, abandon the city, and live in their own settlement within the harsh desert where life is rough. The King desires to save his people from this evildoer, by sending his son the Prince to deliver them. As I read The Prince's Poison Cup, I realized each of its events were allegorical for the overall gospel message presented throughout the Bible. I enjoyed reading this and I found nothing dull about the story. The artwork was beautiful and well detailed, although some pictures ought to have been on the same page as the story text for the sake of imagination. This was theologically accurate too. Like The Priest with Dirty Clothes, I reccommend this book for any Christian parent who desires to teach their children more about God, Jesus, and the Bible itself.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Reformation Trust Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Reformation Trust Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A MUST for any family's library!

Date:April 8, 2011
Customer Avatar
Marie Ralston
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Prince's Poison Cup is a beautiful rendition of the reason mankind needs a savior and the ultimate sacrifice that was made. The story starts with a beautiful town that the King of Light has created. The people in the town are happy in their daily fellowship with their ruler, until they disobey his orders and drink from the forbidden well. The rest of the story follows the Prince's journey as he must muster his courage and try to rescue the town's people from their own mistake of drinking from the well.
This was a delightful and charming book! The pictures were intriguing, captivating and just overall beautifully done. The age range of this book is definitely early elementary school, but even I as an adult reader thoroughly enjoyed it. This book would make a nice edition to any children's pastor, teacher, or family's library. The story is succinct and nicely paced. The vocabulary is nice too. Overall I give this book 10/10 stars on my rating scale. This is definitely a must if you have any elementary age children living in your home or if you have anyone that you want to explain the Gospel to!
Disclaimer: For reviewing this book, I will be receiving a copy of it for my library from Ligonier Books.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Grand Retelling Of The Gospel Story

Date:January 10, 2011
Customer Avatar
Anna Wood
Location:Wetumpka, AL
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I would have loved “The Prince’s Poison Cup” as a child. It is a powerful portrayal of mankind’s fall and redemption that is told in a way that little ones can understand. The illustrations are beautiful. The writing is well done.
In the beginning of the story, we meet a little girl named Ella who is ill and must take some yucky medicine in order to get well. She bravely takes it but then asks her dad, “Daddy, why does medicine taste so bad if it’s going to make us well?” Her father tells that her grandpa will be visiting that day and that she should ask him because “He always can answer your hard questions.” Later Grandpa arrives and Ella asks him her question. What follows is an allegorical retelling of the Gospel done in a way that children can comprehend it.
Grandpa’s story is about the King of Life, His Son The Prince and His archenemy. The King of Life made a beautiful park for His people and He would come there to visit them. In it was a fountain filled with water that the King’s people were forbidden to drink of. The people loved their King and willingly obeyed Him. Then one day the King’s archenemy appeared. He told the people that the water from the fountain was actually good and if they would drink of it they would become great like their King. He then filled a cup with the fountain’s water and the people partook of it. Immediately their hearts became stone and they were filled with hated towards their King. They moved away from the park to the desert and built a city which they called “The City Of Man”.
What the King does next mirrors the plan of salvation. Giving His Son a golden cup, the King tells His Son to go to the City of Man and search for another fountain, one filled with the King’s wrath, fill His cup and drink the poison contained therein so that the people might be saved. The Son does just that and dies for His people. The King appears and brings His Son back to life and thus the archenemy is defeated. Grandpa then explains to his granddaughter that people become ill because of sin and tells her to remember the story of the Prince when she has to take bad-tasting medicine. Ella tells Grandpa “I know another Prince Who died for His people.”
There are discussion questions at the end of the book that parents can use to make sure that children grasp the real meaning of the story.
This is an excellent book that simply and succinctly explains the Gospel story. I cannot wait to share it with my children.
My overall rating: Excellent.
(I received via e-mail a PDF version of this Reformation Trust Publishing title. I was not asked by Reformation Trust that my review of this book be positive, only that it be serious, substantive and fair. Once my review is received, I will receive a free copy of the book.)
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Puposeful Storytelling

Date:October 5, 2010
Customer Avatar
Elizabeth
Location:Eastern USA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
R. C. Sproul has written some helpful books for children. These books are "designed to present deep biblical truths to children on their own level." Each book presents a different aspect of God's character and serves as a wonderful conversation starter. The latter two (of which "The Prince's Poison Cup" is one) even include discussion questions and Scripture references at the end of the story. However, if you could only purchase one of these books, I think that "The Prince's Poison Cup" best communicates the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is therefore, the most beneficial.
There are two things in particular that gave me pause in "The Prince's Poison Cup" that warrant further discussion. The first is the depiction of the deceiver in that he looks evil. This is a very common portrayal among children's books, however, I think it deserves special acknowledgment because often, sin and temptation do not look evil to us.
The second point worth discussing is on Page 20 in a section that parallels Christ's time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Dr. Sproul's story, his Prince trembles with fear as he considers whether there might be another way of rescuing His people. I would want to clarify that, although Scripture does say that Christ trembled, it never attributes fear to Christ. In Matthew 26: 37 & 38, Christ is described as sorrowful and troubled. Mark 14:33-34 describes Jesus as greatly distressed, troubled, and sorrowful. Luke 22:44 describes Jesus as being in agony. Furthermore, 1 John 4:18 states: "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love" (1 John 4:18 ESV). Christ was perfected in love and perfectly trusted His Father in spite of the coming punishment He was to bear for the sins of His people and so, I do not think he could have been fearful. I could be wrong, but just to be cautious, I would try to use more Biblical language to describe Christ's trembling and sweat in the Garden as we are representing His character. (Please note: Dr. Sproul is not necessarily attributing fear to Christ in this book but rather to his fictional Prince character who parallels Christ.)
I would not allow these two issues to prevent me from purchasing this book. It does a great job of communicating Gospel truth in a clear, concise manner to children. Due to the longer paragraphs, I would recommend these books for children who have longer attention spans (probably starting around age four to six, depending on the child).
(Many thanks to Reformation Trust Publishing for granting me a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!)
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for The Prince's Poison Cup
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 9, 2009
This story is beautifully written and accurately depicts the Gospel message. R. C Sproul has done a work of art in this story. As I heard him once narrate it, the story of the gospel is so beautifully portrayed tears filled my eyes. Children will love his narrative ability and parents will love the absolute consistent Scripture parallels. This book has the power to present the Gospel to the young. If an unsaved adult reads this book to the young, the adult will also hear the Gospel message. I am confident God inspired the talent used in writing this book. Buy a book with a story that is truly "His" story beautifully written. May God Bless this work and place it in the hands of Christian parents, teachers, and children's church leaders.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.