The Priest with Dirty Clothes – A Review

R.C. Sproul. The Priest with Dirty Clothes 2nd Ed. Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2011. 45 pp. $12.24.


            It is always a joy to come across a book that helps to explain the gospel in a way that children can grasp. This is especially nice when the telling of the story brings to light important and often-neglected aspects of the good news. The Prince with Dirty Clothes is one such book.


            This little book by R.C. Sproul presents the picture of Christ’s imputed righteousness for the believer. Paralleling the scene in Zechariah 3, Sproul tells the story of a priest whose clothes were too filthy for him to stand in the presence of the king. The prince, the son of the king, gives the priest his perfect clothes in exchange for the priest’s ruined ones. In this picture, children and grown-ups are reminded of how Jesus not only took  the punishment for the sin of Gods’ children, but how he also granted to believers his perfect righteousness by his grace through faith alone.


            My family enjoyed the book. The story is short and sweet, which allowed my seven-year-old to be able to read the book herself. She grasped the concept very well, and we had a helpful discussion about the story. Also, while I am not one to have an opinion about art, my wife tells me that she is fond of the illustrations in this work.


            At the end of the book, Sproul includes a set of helpful questions for discussion. Parents and teachers will be able to not only read this story to their little ones, but also use the story as a teaching tool. 


            So, with the approval of my wife and my daughter, I am happy to recommend The Priest with Dirty Clothes to parents, Sunday School teachers, Children’s Church workers, and any who want to share the gospel with young ones. I Would recommend that this story be told alongside The Prince’s Poison Cup in order to give a more full-orbed presentation of the gospel. Putting these two books together will help to display the imputation of Christ’s perfect righteousness (The Priest with Dirty Clothes as well as his penal substitutionary atonement The Prince’s Poison cup).