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The Mind Muddler

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Posted by Julie Woolford, 31 Oct 2019

Julie Woolford reviews The Mind-Muddler by Johanna Boddam-Whetham, illustrated by Rebecca Watts.

If you are like me, you may take care when explaining to children that sin is more than just doing wrong things, it’s an attitude of rejecting God’s good rule. I’m sure that many times, my attempts have sounded too much as though sin is a mood swing that we should adjust, when actually the problem is the more serious issue of total depravity. The Mind Muddler expertly joins the dots to expose the faulty thinking behind our sin.

Mind Muddler cover image

It takes one through the journey from Adam and Eve’s original state of being able to think straight– “God is so Good his commands are so great!”– through the devil’s temptation to doubt and reject God’s way (Genesis 3)– “God’s enemy hated us thinking so straight; he wanted us thinking ‘Wow, we’re so great’”- to the consequence of living trapped in a dark, sinful, self-centred pattern of thought (Romans 1); “Now things that are rubbish we call ‘great’! We trade what is lasting for things that will break.” God’s rescue through Jesus helps to restore light in our minds to see God’s true goodness and how to live His way. This book even tackles the Christian’s daily struggle against the sinful flesh, and concludes with the assurance of the perseverance of the saints. And all in rhyme!

The Mind Muddler does not hold back on big truths, packing in doctrine upon doctrine, all in simple, quality prose. The density is perhaps it’s only disadvantage; my children clearly didn’t grasp most of the beautiful details first time through (and my enthusiastic mother/disciple mode of overexplaining every verse definitely made it worse!) So I will read this book regularly to my children, so as to have well-worded phrases for meaningful conversations at my fingertips, as we encounter this messy muddled life together.

Julie Woolford is married to a curate in Blackburn diocese, and is the mother of four young girls.

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