Finishing a month of guest-hosting the Albert Mohler Program (as President Mohler was enjoying some well-deserved vacation time), Russell Moore yesterday spoke with musician and author Andrew Peterson about the importance of telling stories—and telling the Story—to children, and the cultivation of a biblically-informed moral imagination in kids.
From Peterson, on how children see the world:
"When I walk through the woods with my kids, it's not just a walk through the woods; it turns into a walk in 'the forbidden forest.' So being around kids and rememering what it's like to look at the world in this way is a really healthy thing. It's one of the many layers, I think, behind when Jesus says, 'The kingdom of heaven is made up of such as these'—there's a lot you can get out of that—but one of those things is I just think kids remember that the world is a dangerous, harrowing, magical, beautiful, wonderful place. And we lose some of that as adults."From Moore, who gives his take on monsters under the bed—and how they relate to a clear communication of the gospel:
"The kids know—they instinctively know—that they're living in a universe in which something's gone awry. It's not our job—as parents, or as Sunday school teachers—to disengage that. It's our job to come in an to provide an answer to that. Yeah, you're living in an enchanted world. Yeah, you're living in a haunted world. You're living in a world haunted by demonic powers. That's exactly right—what you deeply fear is indeed the case... Your worrying about the monster under the bed isn't unreasonable; there's a monster under the fabric of the cosmos. Instead, we give them a story that provides the only comfort that really is lasting comfort; it's a comfort that the enemies have been defeated."Moore provides a summary of his dialogue with Peterson—the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and the forthcoming novel, North! Or Be Eaten—at his blog. He also links to an excellent article penned by David Mills, "Enchanting Children," that appeared in the pages of Touchstone magazine a couple of years ago.
The entire show is worth a listen, perhaps especially for parents with young children.
Albert Mohler returns behind the mic beginning next week. Hopefully being back in the radio studio will cure the bad case of fishing pox that he acquired while he was away.