Anytime boring Beamer visits Bash, his crazy farm cousin, weirdness always rules. This time, Bash schemes a way for the cows to give chocolate milk on April Fool’s Day. Meanwhile, there's a robber on the loose, and Beamer is stuck with his crazy cousin, the pesky neighbor Mary Jane, and a goat of many colors. But somehow Beamer manages to learn an important lesson about baptism and the Great Commission. It's just another day at the farm!
Based on Matthew 16:15-16, this third book in the Bash series is hilarious fun for kids 8 to 12.
Before saying anything about this book, I want to make it clear that my blog is intended for female readers. My thoughts are for the ladies and I won't debate with men! (I Tim. 2:12 ) (I've never had an issue here at my blog, but Amazon is another story.)
I have to be honest and say that I didn't overly connect with this book, BUT I am far outside the target age. I had planned on passing it on to one of my nephews to get his opinion, but then I wasn't sure what the message concerning baptism was, so I felt a bit uncomfortable passing it on to any of them. I know perfectly well that my beliefs are different than most concerning baptism.
Here, I'll simply let the Bible speak:
Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Acts 2:38 "Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
Ladies, I encourage you to study more on the subject! (Don't let what you've been taught stand in the way of a deep study on this subject!) Here are two excellent "Question and Answer" sessions at Come Fill Your Cup. ((Part 1 and Part 2)) And, also the article "What About Baptism?" There are lots of Bible verses and study throughout all of those!
The ending of this book ends with a baptism ceremony, of sorts. I DID like the part where Beamer taught the adults that baptism was urgent. It must be done immediately when the Truth is realized. Many adults tried to talk him into a future, more convenient day, but he wasn't having it. Baptism can happen ANYTIME. If you realize the Truth, fill up that bathtub/pool/whatever is around, and have a friend/spouse/relative put you completely under the water after repenting of your sins, and confessing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. You don't have to have a preacher do it on a scheduled day or even at a worship service. That part was great! I still wasn't clear, even after reading, whether the book is teaching baptism was still simply an act of symbolism. I also wasn't sure about the whole "follow-the-leader" scenario. I seemed like his friend jumped in and decided to be baptized to keep him from being embarrassed. Then others jumped in and decided the same, and I'm not sure they had the right reasoning in mind. Baptism is an important choice, and one that must be made with the right reasons. Otherwise, you're just getting dunked under water! I did as a child. I believe I was baptized because everyone else my age was doing it, and it bothered me for YEARS that I had the wrong reasons within my heart. As an adult, I made things right for sure, and was "re-baptized". It's okay if you disagree with that decision. I know I made the right one, and I'm now at peace! ;)
Aside from the ending.....(which again, I'm unclear on exactly what was being taught)
There's a great deal of pranks for April's Fools within the book. I imagine many would find them all humorous, especially within the target age group, but I just never fully connected. I think the fact that Beamer kept calling his cousin, Bash, weird kind of threw me off. I'll pick up a book called weird in a heartbeat, but I don't care for calling people weird. Also, this is the 3rd book in a series, and I imagine reading the first two books first would have helped.
There ARE good things in here, though. I enjoyed the little Bible lessons/devotionals within the family. Aside from my disagreement with the baptism part, I didn't hate it. I just won't pass it on. If I wasn't sure what it was teaching, imagine what a child would think. With my own children, I can discuss things, but it's not so easy with others.
*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.