This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/guest/does-natural-history-give-you-nightmares-you-need-a-good-story
Thanks to @Christy for this fantastic piece. I’m looking forward to discussing her article.
Reminds me of the part of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where the children ask if Aslan is “safe” - to be told that of course he isn’t safe - but that he is good. I’ll take good over safe any day of the week.
We need to put it [natural history] in its place within the bigger story of God’s ultimate plan for the redemption and completion of his creation, and we need to clearly communicate our confidence that even though natural history tells a true story, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Thanks for this article, and thanks in particular for the clarity of that statement.
@DennisVenema, I really like that quote about Aslan as well. It makes me consider how much I may want truth. Do we want truth at all costs? If it was going to be devastating to somebody’s reputation if you release some scandalous truth about them into public; does the public have a right to know? In some cases the clear answer may be yes – airline passengers do have the right to know if their pilot is an active drug addict. But do parishioners in a church have a right to know everything/anything scandalous that some leader may have in his/her past? In that case I would think not – and that any such “right” to know has to be earned.
I think as children grow and mature, the wise parent will reveal more and more openly the broader perspectives as children can handle them. Maybe all those scary tales are a way of helping prepare young minds to not be blown away by what they will eventually be exposed to despite any protective parent’s intentions.
I feel fortunate that my dad used to read us bedtime stories from his first grade primer, “The New Winston Reader,” copyright 1919. It contained old English folk tales where children met dire ends if they had been bad. My favorite story was about the wee wee woman, who went to her cupboard to investigate a noise. After some build-up, she opened the door, and out jumped–
(turn the page, and in 2 page filling letters) BOO!
My brother and I would double up in laughter every time we heard that story. I was very disappointed when nobody ever got eaten in my own first grade reader. We just read bland stories about Dick, Jane and Sally.
Kids do like scary stories. as long as they feel safe in real life.
Whenever I wanted to imagine a scary story … I would slowly recite the nursery rhyme… Roack-abye-Baby… on the tree top.
Talk about veiled aggression!!! There was no way that Baby got out of that story alive !!! Go ahead… recite the rhyme to yourself slowly … tell me when your blood curdles…