62 pages / 2013
by Simonetta Carr
As first glance it seems author Simonetta Carr has made a strange choice of subject for her latest biography. Anselm of Canterbury was a loyal follower of the pope, repeatedly seeing his advice and always submitting to the pope's commands. Why is a Reformed author highlighting this Roman Catholic archbishop?
It's because Anselm (1033-1109 AD), centuries before the Reformation, uncovered a truth that would be incorporated into the Reformers' catechisms and confessions. Anselm understood why Jesus had to be both fully God and fully man. That was a question being debated in Anselm's time, and before. He helped the Church by explaining that our Savior had to be perfect otherwise he would have his own debt to pay and couldn't pay anyone else's. That's why he had to be God. And he also had to be fully human, because God is just, and would only punish Man for Man's sins. Anselm, like the Reformers after him, sought to know God and tell others about His greatness
Like Simonetta Carr's previous "Christian biographies for young readers," Anselm is produced to the highest standards: wonderful and plentiful pictures in a well-bound hardcover so it can last generations. It is a wonderful educational resource for children 8 to 12 that will make learning church history almost painless. But like many a history book, children might not pick this off the shelf on their own, so a little adult involvement will go a long way in turning this good biography into an excellent education resource.