Drawing the Double-Edged Sword: Artwork Attracts Interest in The Action Bible

Illustration examples from The Action Bible
When a teenage boy reaches for The Action Bible, all heaven could break loose.

The first hand-written letter came with a comic-style drawing—a winged heart topped with a crown, set off by a sword and flames, and draped with a sash imprinted: BIBLE. The letter’s signature, in a distinct cursive script, showed the artistic flourish of its fifteen-year-old author and illustrator.

I love your artwork a lot and can do some artwork myself, like the cross or trees and other things…. I wanted to tell you thank you for The Action Bible. It helps me learn about God and his Son who died for me…. The Action Bible I got is the New Testament. I would like the big book with the New and Old Testament. Could you send me one?

During the next several weeks, more letters arrived, showing the same return address from a residential treatment center in Michigan for boys and girls, ages ten to seventeen, referred by state agencies and courts due to substance abuse, sexual offenses, or other troubling behavior.

The following letter, like the rest, was addressed “Dear David Cook:”

A couple weeks ago I decided to read the Bible but I couldn’t because I have trouble reading. I didn’t know who to turn to for help, until another resident … told me to write to you because you would know where to lead me to the right path. I hope you don’t let me down. Sir, I had many people in my life let me down…. During most of my childhood I had to fight for a place to live. I had to fight for food.

I just want to tell you I need spiritual help from this person you guys call “GOD.” I want to believe but I need your help, sir. I would deeply appreciate it if you could send me an Action Bible so I can learn and become a true Christian.

I’m just trying to get closer to the Lord and change my life before it’s too late. I grew up listening to Lecrae, a Christian rapper. He is the reason why I want to get closer to God.

Just as David Caleb Cook, the man, was known in 1875 for his passion to reach children with the gospel, so is the ministry that bears his name today. Along with a personal response to each letter, David C Cook staff arranged to send copies of The Action Bible and related resources. In the process, they learned that two pastors have been visiting the youth home and witnessing transformation in residents’ lives.

That’s the kind of news hoped and prayed for by those who are in partnership with The Action Bible—to reach kids with God’s Word in a vivid way that helps them discover what it means to follow Jesus and enhances the opportunity for the Church to come alongside. Illustrator Sergio Cariello sums up the significance of presenting the Bible as a comic book: “It entertains and shows the action, just like a regular comic would do, but with eternal value.”

The action-packed graphics draw them in, and the Word of God is “sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

When a teenage boy reaches for a sword like that, all heaven could break loose in the hope of transformation only God could author.

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