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Jesus Creed


What to do? (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

I received an e-mail last week and have gotten similar questions in the past – so I will put it up to you for insight or approach:

Thinker.jpg

I agree … that it is helpful to understand Chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis as mytho-historical. I also believe that there are historical questions raised by a literal interpretation of some other OT passages (e.g., some of the questions raised in Kenton Sparks’ book reviewed … a while back, and elsewhere), and to a lesser extent even with respect to some parts of the NT stories (e.g., differences between the gospels). My question relates to how to handle this issue when teaching my kids the Bible stories. My oldest is 5 yrs. old. She doesn’t have any idea what “mytho-historical” means. To her, the story in Genesis 1 and 2 is no different from the resurrection story when I read it out of a kids’ Bible stories book. One is naturally as historical as the other, in her mind. Is it better to wait until kids are older to begin to discuss these issues? If not now, at what age, and what is a good way to raise it? And if I wait, do I set up a crisis of faith when she later learns that I don’t really view Genesis 1 & 2 (and perhaps other passages) as history in the same way I view the other, central NT stories I’ve been teaching her. She’s already a bit of a skeptic (when I explained that God is in heaven, but also surrounds everything we see, she asked me if God is “pretend”). Any wise advice from others who’ve already confronted this issue with young kids would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

On one level the Christian faith is simple enough for a child to comprehend, on another level it is complex enough to occupy Christian thinkers for millenia.

How can we train our children with a faith that can grow into adulthood?



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Percival

posted February 25, 2010 at 7:25 am


I have talked to my kids about this too. The strength of this approach is its honesty.
“There are a lot of things in life that are hard to figure out and hard to explain. But life is about learning. Christians are still learning and trying to figure a lot of this one out. Maybe by the time you grow up you will know more about this than I do now. So I’m not sure what it all means, but what I think is this …”



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Anderson

posted February 25, 2010 at 9:09 am


For much of my childhood and early adolescence I somehow managed to believe both that God had created the cosmos less than 10,000 years ago and that Dinosaurs roamed the earth 65?200 million years ago. I’m still not sure why there wasn’t any tension between those two beliefs, but there wasn’t.



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Kevin

posted February 25, 2010 at 9:48 am


I struggle with this as well, but from a different angle. How do I talk to my rather conservative church about these things without crushing their faith or making them want to crush me?
I am currently preaching a series on Jonah and I see how easily the story could be a parable of some sort or even mytho-historical. But if I even bring that up no one will even come close to hearing the message of Jonah, they’ll just be upset or stunned that I said there is a chance Jonah never really spent any time in the belly of the whale.
I’m just at a loss on how to deal with it.



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John

posted February 25, 2010 at 9:49 am


I say go with the simple truth. Either the Bible is true as written or it isn’t. I have utter and complete confidence in the literal six twenty-four hour day creation account as it is clearly written in Genesis. Why must we complicate this. If Scripture and science appear to disagree, could it be that we have either missed part of the scientific equation or misinterpreted the result? One thing I am sure of is the the Bible is true. Period.



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Ethan Magness

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:12 am


I am dealing with this issue right now with kids (5 and 7) and with the church that I serve.
With my kids my strategy is always to work with them to articulate the main point. So after reading Gen 1, I will affirm a main point like this, “God made everything.” That is easy to affirm and allows for lots of fuller conversations as they mature. After reading John 20, I will work with them to affirm something like this, “Jesus came back to life after he died.” I hope that when it comes time to talk about literary genre, they will see how this search for the main message of the texts helps us hear the Bible on its own terms.
In fact this process has helped me affirm that these texts aren’t as troubling as I suspected. They rarely read Gen 2 and affirm that the main point is that snakes used to be able to talk. They always say something like, “When we reject God’s commands the world is worse than it would have been.” (Although we did once get the suggestion that the main point was that we shouldn’t eat apples.)
When it comes to the church I use a pretty similar strategy. Regarding Gen 1, I use the phrase, This is about WHO and WHY not HOW or WHEN, and if we focus on HOW and WHEN we will miss the main point of the text. Part of submitting to scripture means that I will work to keep the main thing the main thing.
My seven year old has already noticed one of the gospel differences and asked about it. I just reminded him that these were the accounts of people who actually knew and then talked about what Jesus had done. We used the example of a family vacation, that if someone asked us about our family vacation, we might all tell the same story in slightly different ways but the main point would still be there and they could be confident in our telling of an actual event even if we didn’t include all the same details.
I hope those thoughts help. I certainly am not settled on this and consider all of this parenting stuff to be an experiment, but that is what I am trying this week.



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Henry Zonio

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:13 am


Great letter and great question!
My short answer: Don’t over-think it.
In 17 years of working in children’s ministry and now with my own kids ranging from 2 to 10 years old, I’ve learned that adults worry too much about making sure kids are “getting it right.” Spiritual formation of children is not a linear process, and it isn’t a process that we adults are in charge of. We need to remember first and foremost that spiritual formation is the job of the Holy Spirit and he is more interested in our children coming to know him than we ever could be.
So when it comes to our children’s understanding of creation… don’t over-think it. Our children aren’t over-thinking it. It’s not about passing a test. It’s about them getting to know who the Creator is and that all has been created by him. What’s important is connecting them with that Creator and allowing the Spirit to speak to that child. We invalidate children’s spiritual experiences and encounters they have with God when we are too quick to jump in to correct what we might see as theologically or historically or scientifically incorrect. Yes, we need to teach our kids, but we err too many times on the side of teaching over allowing spiritual formation to happen. Our paradigm needs to be one where teaching happens within the context of spiritual formation. We tend to allow spiritual formation to happen within the context of teaching.
So, going back to the creation account. Tell the story. Allow the story to stand on it’s own. If your young children perceive creation to take place in 6 literal days… that is OK. As they grow and develop and are able to process ideas and concepts and as they learn new information and as we allow space for the Holy Spirit to form our children, their understandings of the creation story will morph. Their understanding of reality and God isn’t as fragile as we would like to think. It’s our adult understanding that are the fragile ones! As they grow and wrestle with new information and insight, then we can wrestle alongside them. It’s not our job to provide all the answers. It’s our job to help them learn how to wrestle.
Don’t over think it.



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Phil

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:18 am


#4 John
“Either the Bible is true as written or it isn’t”? What do you mean by this? True literal-scientific history, or in some other sense?
When the scripture speaks of the stars in the heaven’s being rolled up in a scroll is that true literal, or true in some other sense?
I think that is the point in asking our children what things mean as we teach them the stories..
With my children (4,7) we stress the whole story, God’s plan, good creation, sin, redemption. The creation story points that we make is that things were good, and sin and choice happened, and they have choices to obey or disobey today. Bring it home to their practical world. Obedience and Choice is the teachable moment in creation. Sacrifice and Choice and Newness is the teachable moment in the crucifixion and resurrection.
Just some of my thoughts.



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Steve

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:26 am


Great question, and one I’ve thought a lot about. Here’s my response to this good post, including a possible answer to such questions from children, that I just put up on my blog: http://undeception.com/explaining-genesis-to-our-children/



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Keith Cummings

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:30 am


#4 John
Thanks for your boldness and honesty. I agree with you that we have sometimes “misinterpreted” scientific information. But now I ask you why you think we have not also “misinterpreted” biblical information? The way I see it we interpret both, so if they don’t agree then we have misinterpreted one or the other (or maybe even both!). I guess my long-winded point is that I also believe the Bible is true AND I believe it must be interpreted.
Just my humble thoughts…



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Henry Zonio

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:33 am


I forgot to mention in my last comment… there is a great book written from a layperson and parent point of view that addresses this issue of teaching origins to your children. The book is called Who Made the Moon by Sigmund Brouwer. Excellent book! I posted a review of it on my blog, if you are interested http://www.elementalcm.com/2009/04/09/book-review-who-made-the-moon/



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Micheal Hickerson

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:48 am


I like Henry’s comments above. I’d add:
#1 – Don’t stop telling the stories! This is what kids need and want, and Robert Webber (among others, including Scot) has pointed out how important stories are to our theology and belief.
#2 – For children or adults, when the topic of 6-day creation vs. billions of years comes up, I like to take a step back and talk about what Gen. 1 & 2 affirms *regardless of scientific models.* Things like:
– God’s creation & command over the universe
– humanity’s role as God’s image and steward
– the order, beauty, and goodness of creation
– the explicit purposes of creation (e.g. stars, sun, & moon as markers of time & season)
– and so on
If someone can create a seamless argument that God created the universe in 6 24-hour days – and yet fails to acknowledge in their daily life God as creator, human beings as made in God’s image, the original goodness of creation, and so on – then they’ve missed the entire point of Genesis 1 & 2.



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RJS

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:50 am


Kevin (#3),
I think the harder question is the one about the church. Although we must think about how to approach issues with our children, we have time and the context of a relationship. It becomes a matter of small steps and helping our kids grow in understanding.
There are so many more issues in the church. Finding a good pastoral approach – one that allows those with real questions to find the resource to deal with the questions, while not forcing a crisis with others or precipitating a conflict within the church – requires care.



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John W Frye

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:11 am


I, too, like Henry’s comment (#6) because it is practical and significant. Stories shape our lives. We live stories. To turn the Bible into a text book of truth-principles or soapy moralisms is the last thing our children need. God, in great wisdom, reveals himself in stories. Let the children read the stories, tell the stories and live the stories. Later, when their faculties are more capable, they can engage the stuff parents/teachers worry about.
Great post and great question!



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Anderson

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:17 am


Either the Bible is true as written or it isn’t.

I don’t understand why the idea that some parts of the Bible are mythological or fictional upsets people so much. In American culture, we’ve included several fictional stories in our “canon” (Huck Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.), and these stories help us teach our history and our values to each generation of schoolchildren. Jesus himself often told fictional morality tales to teach important truths about God’s kingdom. Why are people so offended by the idea that the people of ancient Israel and Judah might have done the same thing. Books such as Esther, Job, and Jonah never claim a literary genre, and, to the unbiased reader, they feel much more like historical fiction (Esther) or myth (Job) than like history. Such tales were not uncommon in the ANE; I see no reason why the Hebrews would not have told, recorded, and cherished fictional stories that expressed their identity and values. Suggesting that some of these stories are not history is not suggesting that they are false or that they are something other than what they claim to be; rather, it is just making a judgment about the genre and purpose of the text.



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Henry Zonio

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:17 am


Oh, there are two more resources that I’d like to suggest on spiritual formation in children from two different perspectives.
For parents, there is ChildFaith by Don and Barbara Ratcliff.
For ministry leaders there is Formational Children’s Ministry by Ivy Beckwith.



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Anderson

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:18 am


I forgot a question mark in my previous comment. Careless.



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Percival

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:28 am


Sometimes kids don’t really need answers. They need to be inspired to ask questions and the freedom to explore without feeling they might be sinning by asking the tough questions.
John, #4 (and parents with that attitude)
I am glad my Christian parents didn’t raise me with that attitude. I was first taught young-earth literalism to a degree, BUT I was also taught to approach the Bible with some humility, knowing that I may not get the message exactly right the first time I read it.



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Peggy

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:29 am


RJS, I am coming to the end (starting Hebrews) of my reading of the Bible (complete text) with my youngest (9 years). (He has gone ahead and finished listening to my NLT Bible Alive CDs.) This is the latest stage in a life time progression from simple Bible story books to more and more complete books, to reading the text of the “main” stories, to actually starting in Genesis and going through. (I must admit that we did skip much of the wisdom and prophetic stuff … way too “boring” for a 9 year old boy, apparently ;^) )
Along with others, I stop along the way and ask the “what is God trying to help us understand?” along with “why is this important for us to understand?” questions.
I agree that honesty is the key, and would add humility to that. “I don’t know why.” is one of the most important answers we can give our children (and ourselves!), especially when there seem to be so many who think that they, in fact, know it all.
What I work to instill in my children is a sense of being able to trust God, even when we don’t understand. We trust that he loves us totally and is always working things out for our best — even when we don’t think things are working out too well. If they can learn to trust God with the big picture (not focusing on the minutia of their every wish!), then they can move closer to being able to obey.
And when I say “obey” it is not blind obedience to lists of rules, but following the Jesus Creed. I all Scripture that is read in context (key), it is possible to recognize the love of God, see that he is trustworthy, recognize that his will is always what is best for us, and find the proper response (obedience). The most basic response we are to make to God’s love is that we anchor our self-perceptions in it and then express our love for him by loving others.
This is the simple stuff that kids can get. I wrote a post a couple of days ago about the need to get the simple stuff straight before getting all wound up in the complicated stuff.



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Peggy

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:37 am


…and I also believe that it is important to help children understand that “myth” does not mean “not true”, which is one of the most important contributions Tolkien and Lewis brought to the table.
Understanding the variety of literary genre is woefully absent in the minds of too many Christians, IMO. Some of the best teaching moments have come from teaching through Fee and Stuart’s “How to Read the Bible for all Its Worth”…. I even made little genre bookmarks, with the main points from the book, for my classes. They are still to be found in my main study Bible, scattered in their various sections.
Hmmm…I may just have to make a set for my kids one of these days.



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Paul

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:37 am


I agree with Henry & with Michael #11…
Another thought…maybe wait until your child asks the question themselves (did God really create all of this in 7 days?!?). This way they are actually ready and interested in the question and you can begin the discussion in appropriate ways (well some think so, others arn’t so sure, the real point of the story is…)



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Darren King

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:50 am


When John says, “Either the Bible is true as written or it isn’t”, I can’t help but think he’s being a little disingenuous. By reducing everything to a black or white, yes or no kind of proposition, perhaps he thinks this will put pressure on people to side with the Bible. Because, what’s the alternative?
Life, let alone the Bible, is rarely that simple. This is not a political campaign where only two stark, polar-opposite options are on the table. This is life in the midst of the real world we’re talking about here.
Also, one should pay attention to the fact that THE BIBLE ITSELF never claims to be this kind of one-dimensional, one-size-fits-all, contextless, genre-less, magical answer-book.
So, that being the case, what is your faith in? God? The Bible? Or a groundless assumption?



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Darren King

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:53 am


Now, to the question at hand (I have an 8 yr old and a 4 yr old), it seems to me one doesn’t want to introduce complexity too early on. Or, put differently, complexity and nuance should be added when this can actually help offer clarity. And, in my mind, that means we wait until the questions are dawning in the mind of the child. So, if the questions come up at 12 – perhaps then is the time to add nuance. If they come up at 15 – then is the time.
That’s the approach my wife and I are taking anyway.



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E.G.

posted February 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm


Bravo Henry @ #6 – “Don’t over-think it.”
I mean, really. Do you not read “Little Red Riding Hood” to your kids because they might end up believing in talking wolves? Not to mention the entire Narnia series.
Kids grow and their intellect progresses… and their ability to go from literal to figurative – and to determine which is which – progresses as well.
Read them the stories. Discuss it with them. Answer questions honestly. Be sure to actually *encourage* questions.
Handwringing like this reminds me a bit of Dawkin’s fuss and bother about “negative” effects on kids who read the Harry Potter series:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1080525/Atheist-Richard-Dawkins-warns-Harry-Potter-negative-effect-children.html



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Paul

posted February 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm


I believe that the best approach to anyone (child or adult) is simple and honest. Don’t try to explain everything, especially if you don’t fully understand. Be honest with your (our) limited understanding and share what you have come to know through your struggle. Of course, be develpmentally appropriate to children, but being honest with them (even when it is saying that you don’t understand) is better for their development as a Christian-child, than to try to explain things away. Your honesty will foster trust and a more stable faith for the child’s mental and spiritual growth in faith.
Also, to interpret one passag litterally and another passage as not litteral is not to be inconsistent. One key in interpreting Scripture is to know first what type of literature you are reading. Some Scripture is poem, historical narrative, personal letter, law, wisdom, prophetic, parable, some uses a generic story or statement to paint a picture of the state of a generation etc. Also, the emphasis and purpose of each material can affect the way it compares, reads or is interpretted with other similar passages (i.e. differing Gospel accounts). It is likely that Jesus repeated many of the same stories in many towns and the writers could be recalling the jist of the story or could be recalling a different story that was similar etc.



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EricG

posted February 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm


E.G. (#23) — I think you misread the post, which doesn’t ask whether we should read the stories to kids, but instead asks about how to talk about Bible stories to kids. That’s not “handwringing” — it is proper parenting.
Thanks to all for the very thoughtful suggestions above. I particularly like the idea of asking kids what they believe the essential point of the story is, which gets them thinking about meaning.



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Dave

posted February 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm


Great topic.
I agree with the idea that the bigger problem is the “child like view” of some in my church.
I was complaining about “those people” one day and my kids all laughed at me and said in a mocking cynical way “you mean there are metaphors in the Bible?!?” I never explained it to them, but they somehow got the idea on their own (12, 14 and 17). They are great kids.
Actually I did explain to them the idea of religion their whole life. These are Bible stories of what some people of experienced about God. We don’t know exactly what they experienced since it was so long ago but this is what they wrote. It may be true. (I don’t even address the it may not be true part, they can think of that on their own.)
Dave



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R Hampton

posted February 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm


Either the Bible is true as written or it isn’t.
Long ago I accepted that for a certain portion of humanity, understanding literal truth – and only literal truth – is the upper limit of their ability. A few years back I learned that French psychologist Jean Piaget theorized something very similar. He said that cognitive development proceeds in four universal stages, the last of which – the Formal operational stage – occurs in adolescents and/or adulthood:
The formal operational stage begins at approximately age twelve to and lasts into adulthood. During this time, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning also emerge during this stage.
Piaget believed that deductive logic becomes important during the formal operational stage. Deductive logic requires the ability to use a general principle to determine a specific outcome. This type of thinking involves hypothetical situations and is often required in science and mathematics.
More importantly, Piaget discovered that “Only 35% of high school graduates in industrialized countries obtain formal operations; many people do not think formally during adulthood.
So what can we do? Acknowledge that some number of people have cognitive limitations but resist imposing or adopting their views – stemming from said limitations – upon those with greater cognitive abilities.
Now I do realize that there are Biblical Literalists who have reached the “Formal operational stage”, but I am speaking of populations in general.



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Jonathan

posted February 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm


“When I explained that God is in heaven, but also surrounds everything we see, she asked me if God is ‘pretend'”
I smiled when I read this. What an intellectually deft question! After all, if God can be two places (or every place!) at once, God sounds like pretend things from stories, not real things from the world.
It takes Augustine like 6 Books (and many years) in “Confessions” to solve that problem!
It occurs to me that any answer someone could give a 5 year old about these things would be something provisional to be adjusted or abandoned or revised later.
I don’t think that’s a problem. I think you can’t help but cross those bridges when you come to them.
What seems important to me (full disclosure: not a parent yet) is cultivating the sort of inquisitive intelligence that uncovers these difficulties, then has the faith and persistence to not stop at inadequate answers.
In other words, how does one field these questions in such a way as to not shut down a developing intelligence? How do you encourage kids to keep at questions there don’t seem to be immediate, easy answers to yet?
After all, the problem with atheism isn’t that it asks too many questions; it’s that it refuses to ask all of them.



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RJS

posted February 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm


E.G. (#23)
I agree with “don’t over think it” – but I also think the question is worth thought, how important, how much, and when depends on the context.
A matter-of-fact approach while young can avoid the crisis later on.



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Darryl

posted February 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm


You know your children. You love them and spend time with them. They trust you. When they reach a certain age they will experience crisis of faith and if you have built the relationship they will come to you for your input (not necessarily to give them the answers). Because you have built a relationship with you they will hear you. Then they will make up their minds the rest of their lives over what options seem to make the most sense.
This is how we develop our faith. Don’t worry too much. Love them and build the relationship. It will come.



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MarkE

posted February 25, 2010 at 7:22 pm


It might help to think about what we know about human cognitive development. Roughly speaking, children from 2-7 are pre-logical or magical in the quality of their thinking. They will have no problem with any of the bible stories, or Santa, or the Ninja Turtles.
Children from 7-12 are logical about concrete things, but cannot fully grasp abstractions the same way adults do. Most of our abstract God-talk is beyond them.
Children can handle single abstractions by about age 12, but cannot handle multiple abstractions. So, they can get that God is love, but become confused when we try and tell them that God is also just.
The confusion starts to lift about age 16 as they begin to handle multiple abstractions, but they are still unable to fully handle a system of abstractions, which is what Christianity is all about. That doesn?t come until after high school, if ever.
So, how do you parent? You take advantage of where your child is at in their level of development. If they are concrete, don?t focus too much, if at all, on abstractions. Make it concrete. Eve at an apple.
If they can handle single abstractions, then don?t confuse them by throwing too many abstractions. God is love. That may be enough for now. We can also reassure them that things will start clearing up in a few years.
When they are old enough to handle multiple abstractions, no need to keep it so concrete. Maybe the tree of life represents something bigger than an actual tree.
I remember when my daughter was 16 years old. I mentioned in passing something to the effect that it probably wasn?t a real apple that Eve ate. She about blew a gasket and wanted to know what else was not true. It led to a great discussion. One she was ready for.



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Darryl

posted February 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm


MarkE: It was a fig anyway…



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Dave

posted February 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm


when my oldest was 3, he was playing with what he is going to get two days before his birthday. His birthday was two days before christmas. He posited, :Dad, i wish it was my brithday every day.
The next day he cam back to meand said, Dad, If it is my birthday everydan then there would be no birthday at alll.
I love having greeat kids



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Baggas

posted February 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm


Great question and interesting discussion.
The problem I have come up against is when my child is being taught literalist interpretations by other people he respects, like his school teacher… it’s very hard to constructively argue with his notions that the Earth was created 6000 years ago and dinosaurs were around at that time without jeopardising his respect for his teacher.
Although ironically when these discussions do come up he usually tends to trust his teacher’s knowledge more than his dads, which is both disconcerting and amusing at the same time..



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Jim

posted February 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm


John (#4),
When science and scripture don’t seem to agree, do you think it’s a possibility that you’ve mis-interpreted scripture? Or is it always the case that science has been mis-interpreted?



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rebeccat

posted February 26, 2010 at 12:01 am


I have LOTS of kids, so I’ll just throw in my $.02. I just read them the stories when they are younger. It’s a subtle thing, but when they are too young to care to ask too many questions, I’ll refer to OT stuff as “stories” while I’ll refer to Jesus as a real person and the story of his life as “what happened”. As they get older, I continue to draw a pretty bright line between the OT and the NT. I’ll explain that stories are very important to us. It’s why we love movies and books and even some songs. That’s why Jesus told so many stories when he was here. So God gave us lots of stories to tell us about Himself and ourselves and the world. Some of them come from real things that happened, and some are stories that were the best way for God to tell us about something important. And some started with real people or events, but had things changed around because the bible isn’t supposed to be a history book – we have all sorts of history books and if all the bible is is another history book, we don’t need God for that! It can be hard to figure out which ones happened in real life and which ones didn’t happen, but the important thing is that they tell us important things God wants us to know.
With the NT, I explain that it is different from the OT because it was written close to the events that happened. There were people who had known Jesus who were still alive when they were written and they would have protested if the gospels were saying things that weren’t true. I do explain that the gospels all get some details different, just like if 4 different people today saw the same thing, they would tell the story 4 different ways and maybe even remember it a little differently. But the stories are all quite similar, so even though some little details may be different, we know the important things are all the same because that’s pretty much how they happened. We don’t have one gospel saying that Jesus rose from the dead and another saying that his body was stolen, for example.
As for how to explain God, I tell my kids that God is like air. We can’t see it, but we can feel it moving, we can see its effects and we all need it to survive even if we don’t realize it. It’s a simple analogy, but it seems to have worked for them and counter-acts the guy in a robe with a white beard view of God that we seem to default to.
The one thing that I absolutely try to protect my kids from is being influenced by literalist versions of Christianity. I do not want them to be told that for them to be Christians or for Christianity to be true the bible must be viewed as a God written history book. Because at some point they will come across very strong evidence that parts of the bible (like the creation stories) didn’t happen they way they were written down and I do not want them to think that this reality nullifies their faith. It is entirely possible that at some point, my kids will decide to rebel and walk away from their faith, but I don’t ever want it to be because of something as unnecessary and preventable as buying into the idea that the faith requires biblical literalism or it is not true and worthless.



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Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




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