Worldview and the importance of first impressions
**Editors Note: Dan DeWitt recently wrote a worldview novella for young readers called The Owlings. You can read and excerpt of the book here. You can also purchase a copy of his book here. The Jesuits are responsible for the quote, “Give me the child … and I will give you the man.” The idea…
The Jesuits are responsible for the quote, “Give me the child … and I will give you the man.” The idea is simple, our childhood influences have a profound impact on who we become as adults. The impressionable season of childhood is a landscape paved with worldview risks and opportunities.
That’s why the “world’s most celebrated atheist,” Richard Dawkins, author of the The God Delusion, has turned his attention to writing for a younger audience. In his children’s book The Magic of Reality, published in 2011, he set out to dispel myths about the world. In an interview about the book Dawkins said, “I care that children are being misled by those stupid people,” referring to those who believe the Genesis account of the origins of the universe and of human life.
A recent article in the New Republic provided a good context for interpreting Richard Dawkins just in the title of the article alone, “The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins: His Atheism is its Own Kind of Narrow Religion.” But despite a growing recognition that the aging New Atheists are far less open minded than their PR projections of themselves, there is no shortage of college students moving in lock step with their godless campaign. Many college students, all statistics aside, have abandoned the Christian faith for a worldview devoid of deity.
They’ve exchanged one story for another. Every person has a worldview and every worldview is a story. The secular worldview is based on a belief that the cosmos is all there is, or ever was, or ever will be. It’s a story that started by chance, is governed by nothing, and is heading nowhere.
On the other hand, the Christian narrative begins with the belief summarized in John’s gospel, “In the beginning was the Word . . . and the Word became flesh.” The Christian story is simply better, and to borrow a pet phrase from Henry Kissinger, “it has the added advantage of being true.”
Like Dawkins, I think explaining fundamental concepts about the nature of reality to children is a must. But I have a very different worldview than Dawkins. I think that reality is best explained by a God who is there and who is not silent: a Creator who has revealed himself in human history.
Dan DeWitt serves as dean of Boyce College. He is the author of the forthcoming book Jesus or Nothing, and editor of A Guide to Evangelism. You can connect with DeWitt through his website or on twitter.
The Owlings is a worldview adventure for readers young and old alike about a young boy named Josiah who discovered an important lesson from some unlikely visitors. Gilbert, a talking owl, is joined by three of his friends to explain the greatest truth in all of the world—that the world is not all there is, or ever was, or ever will be.
You can learn more about The Owlings at theowlings.org.
Order a copy at Amazon.com.