Shannon is my wife, and mother to our three children. She loves reading, and especially loves reading to our children. She has developed a list of five fiction books, and how they portray the Christian worldview. All of these books would be great gifts for your children. Tim
You may have heard the expression that in raising children more is caught than taught. In some senses this is not true. It is very important to engage in direct moral teaching to our children. However, if our own actions contradict that teaching, it will be in vain. But it is also helpful to sure up our direct teaching with indirect teaching through story. This is one of the oldest ways that humans have passed down lessons on how to live a good and righteous life. Jesus himself taught through story. So, I would like to share with you some stories for children and young people that teach aspects of a Christian worldview. And to those who have ears to hear, let them hear!
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
I’ll admit that this one is pretty obvious. In this well known story, the lion Aslan is a Christ figure who sacrificially gives himself in exchange for the traitor Edmond. Beyond this connection though, there are other subtle lessons about God and how we relate to him. One of my personal favorite moments in the story happens when the children are talking with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. They are talking about the return of Aslan. Susan asks if he is “safe“. Mr. beaver replies, “ he’s a lion. The great lion. Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he is good.” What an interesting lesson about our human misconceptions about goodness! And you will find many other gems such as this throughout the story.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
While we are on the subject of stories, what is the difference between a story and a lie? The author explores this question in this eerie ghost adventure story. Molly and Kip are two Irish children who find themselves orphaned while fleeing the potato famine. They take up employment with a family on a large, old estate that hides a dark secret. In many ways, a story can serve to bring a truth to life. But when a story obscured the truth, a sacred line has been crossed.
Heather and Picket seem to be ordinary rabbits. But soon the tumult in the wider world over takes them. They learn how their own family history ties in to the great stories of their past. They, along with new friends and newly discovered family, await the ascension of the promised heir to the throne. You will find echoes of life in the church as the rabbits hope for the defeat of their enemy and a return to peaceful times in The Mended Wood. There are also personal virtues to learn along the way with Heather and Picket as they overcome their own struggles to find their place in the new world around them. There are also now three other books in the series.
I have a learned from N.D. Wilson that the world we live in is fantastic. Everythingthat seems ordinary to us would be extraordinary to a visitor from some other world. In 100 cupboards, the very ordinary Henry finds a very extraordinary connection between himself and worlds unknown. The virtues of wisdom, courage , and loyalty are champion to strongly throughout the story. And the effect of choosing evil is animated in a particularly poignant way. There are two other books in the series.
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
While the stories above are best suited for upper elementary children and teens, this story can be enjoyed by children as young as five. A woman and her three children find themselves homeless and in the company of an old hobo named Armand. This story is an excellent exploration into the concept of showing partiality. A reading of James chapter 2 and a discussion would be a great companion for the book.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.