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The Lightlings

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2021 12:01 am

The Lightlings

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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December 1, 2021 12:01 am

Many people are afraid of the dark, but why are others afraid of the light? Today, R.C. Sproul reads his children's book The Lightlings to help parents and grandparents explain the key biblical themes of creation, fall, and redemption.

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Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Fellowship in the Word
Bil Gebhardt
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Today on Renewing Your Mind a story about darkness and light to Charlie's mother gave him one last kiss finish talking him in and then turned on the Maglite next to his bed, just as she was ready to leave.

Charlie said mommy why am I afraid of the dark lesser question that resonates with every parents and every trial today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul reads his engaging children's story will likely and will learn to be brave in the dark will grasp even deeper lessons about the power of light over darkness at the end of the reading. You will hear an interview that our president and CEO Chris Larson conducted with Dr. Sproles right now.

Let's listen to the light. One evening in a house in a quiet neighborhood, a little boy was getting ready for bed. The boy's name was Charlie, that's his mother was talking him in.

She covered him with blankets to make them warm and cozy and then she knelt by his bed and prayed with him.

Finally she stood, leaned over and kissed him on the four Charlie looked up at her and said mommy please don't forget to turn on the night like before you leave my Mrs. Cobb smiled at him and said don't worry sweetheart I'll be sure to turn on the light, I won't leave you in the dark to Charlie's mother gave him one last kiss finish talking him in and then turned on the Maglite next to his bed, just as she was ready to leave. Charlie said mommy why am I afraid of the dark. She said that's a hard question to answer. Charlie I think were going to have to save it for grandpa he's coming for dinner tomorrow so you can ask them all right. Mommy Charlie said, I'll wait until tomorrow and ask grandpa about the next day. Just as Charlie's mother and promised grandpa came for dinner before they moved to the table.

Charlie went and sat on his knee and said grandpa man asking a question that's responsive course Charlie tell me what you'd like to know so chosen. Grandpa is that I'm afraid of the dark and why do so many people I know seem to be afraid of the dark to grandpa looked at Charlie. That's a very good question, but did you know that not only are lots of people afraid of the dark many people are afraid of the light afraid of the light, said Charlie. Why would understand that. I'm afraid I'm going to have to start at the beginning. In fact, the very Charlie loved it when grandpa told him story so he curled up next to him and waited for grandpa to begin.

Grandpa started his story always. Once upon a time there was a great who was the king of light lived in the light made the light and his light was so perfect and so that he was called without a shadow this great king of light made a group of people that he made them so that they could shine brightly. Just as he did call them his little white except white wings in a beautiful garden that he prepared for them garden that was full of bright sunshine in the sunbathe the garden every day. Help the flowers plants growing great abundance of bright light of the sun help keep everyone warm white wings loved it when the king came to visit, but then one day something terrible happened politely decided to do what they wanted to do instead of what their King had commanded them to do so.

They disobeyed the end they sinned against. In the very second that they sinned their life became filled with shame and with great embarrassment.

So they ran as fast as they could to get away from the king they didn't want the king of like to see. They ran out of the garden into the woods and hid themselves in this place that on they were afraid of the light because they knew that wherever the light was the king would be in the king would see them in their shame after the lightnings left the garden.

The king began to remove his lights from the garden in the garden soon became cold and covered with weeds and thorns and sticky briars. The lightnings moved further and further into the woods until they live in a place that was almost completely covered in this.

It was so dark that they had the rope around as if they were blind feeling their way through the forest. Often they would trip and fall discovering their knees and bruising so it was awful living in the dreadful darkness all the time were the only life I ever saw was and barely lit shadows that danced in the forest fact, they couldn't tell the difference anymore between night and day. Then one night, perhaps it was even day, far off in the distance I saw a blinding light shining through the trees.

They could see this light coming from miles and miles away and they were frightened by they thought that the light meant that the king was coming to find them, to punish them for their sins. So most of the lightnings began to stumble quickly away the light.

Some of the lightning children were so amazed interested in the light they decided to see from where it was, so they set off in travel for many.

It took them a long time but as they move, they saw the light shining brighter and brighter and finally they came to a clearing in the forest in the middle of the clearing.

They saw father lightning mother lightly and a little baby who shining like this blazing light seem to be coming right baby so the lightnings are sought, and surprisingly asked the father lightning. Who is this baby where did he come from the father lightning answer is not the son king is given to us as a special gift. He has been born for us, and he grows up he will be called the light, and there will be no darkness strong enough to hide his wife.

No darkness deep enough to send his lights turn just the lightning children knelt down at the baby's feet and they began to worship him in fear when they stood up their faces will shine like that was shining in their faces was not coming from inside them. It was a reflection of the light that was coming out of the baby. The lightnings were now surrounded with the light of the child come rushing back to their homes and their friends and their families as fast as their feet could carry them and when they got home they were still shining, the other lightnings were frightened at the sight of them. They said what happened to you. So the lightning children told their story. We something shining like is the son of the king of light.

The king has given us a child is given us his own son to be the life of the notice that already.

There was more light in the forest. Now they could begin to see where they were going. They can walk without falling they could run and play without pumping in the trees or rocks and getting bruised yet some still hid from the light while others realized they didn't need to be afraid anymore.

They saw that living in the light was much better than the darkness they were used. Grandpa looked at Charlie and said you see Charlie were afraid of the dark because we were made to live in the light, and someday all of us who love this son will live with him forever, and when we go to the dwelling place of the son who is now the light of the world, there will be no knowing that there will be no moon and stars, or even a son will be no nightlights, no lamps, no landers so how can there be light if there's no son or lamps or candles. How can that be his grandfather place for the king's son lives.

The light that shines forever still comes from is the light of heaven and all who come into his presence will never be in darkness again. Charlie said that sure is a wonderful thing to look forward and grandpa replied Charlie. Let me make a suggestion from now on, every time that you see the sun or the moon, stars were every time you light a candle, turn on your little nightlight remember the story of the trial flight brought into the darkness of this world and remember that he gave us this baby is a present Charlie as long as you remember that you will never ever be afraid of the dark RC.

It's clear that you delight to pack deep theological truths into these children's stories. Why is it important from your perspective to put good theology into children's stories. I think two things. Partly it comes out of my own experience of being a father and grandfather were as long as I can remember. I love to try to read Gail little kids with stories that I would make up right on the spot and spin off the top of my head and out of that experience of just having fun with stories came this idea of using children's stories as a vehicle or a conduit to try to teach important theological truths to kids but not only the kids but I understand that most of the stories are read to their children by their parents and so I'm hoping that there parents will understand more deeply some of the principal truths of our faith. Because of these ideas now.

I've been teaching for over 40 years and I used to say. At the beginning of my teaching career that it was my job as a teacher to tighten difficult concepts and ideas and communicate them in such a way that the students could understand the us of any professor could take his notes from graduate school and just recite them to the students and not worry about whether they understood it, and so many times it seemed like the professor himself was just regurgitating information that he had taken him and now was putting out and they had never really digested it either.

I'm saying you don't really understand the concept until you're able to communicate it to a six-year-old child. Sometimes we hide behind abstract language and sophisticated verbiage to conceal our own ignorance.

Where's the goal is always to be understood to make the word of God, which is already clear in itself is clear as we possibly can.

When we communicated to others in a good discipline to practice that is the discipline of trying to teach it to little children. There's a very well-known passage in the New Testament where children and the crowd are coming around Jesus and as the children are coming. The disciples turn them away. And yet Jesus rebukes them, and says let the children come for such is the kingdom of God. How is what happened in that moment in the New Testament connected to what you want to do with the stories well. Jesus says it's the childlike mind that represents what the kingdom of God is like knelt on the one hand, we are called to become his children.

On the other hand, we are rebuked by the New Testament if we have a childish understanding of the things of God's on the one hand, were told not to be childish not to be children, but to grow in our maturity to have an adult understanding of the word of God. But in what sense are we to be childlike, not in childlike ignorance, but in childlike innocence where we trust those who are in authority over us, the five-year-old has no reason to doubt the truth of what his mother is telling is not until we become more sophisticated that we begin to be skeptical and cynical of those in authority over us. Our teachers are parents and so but we are to have an attitude towards God that infants have towards their parents where there's an implicit trust in what is being told where to trust God and his word implicit RC as we close today. Why is this particular story important to children and their parents. I created this little story for our children service in our church for Christmas Eve. It's really a Christmas story about the coming into the world of the light of the world and I hope that this will help little children and their parents reflect on the deep, deep, deep meaning of what took place that night in Bethlehem when the light broke into the darkness and the darkness we are grateful for Dr. RC Sproles children's book that emphasizes this important truth. As we approach the holidays we are reminded that children love stories and this time of year. It's a great opportunity for us as parents and grandparents to share the story of the one who described himself as the light of the world, all of RC's children's books are beautifully illustrated and children love reading them over and over. The book we highlighted today is the like legs and we would love to get it in your hands for the upcoming holiday season.

Simply call us with your gift of any amount and we will send it to you. You can make your request and Renewing Your or you can simply call us at 800-435-4343 Dr. Steven Nichols joins me here in the studio.

He is the president of Reformation Bible college and author of the biography of Dr. scroll Steve what motivated our seats or to write these children's books. Well, he that would be his own grandkids, he wrote his first children's book in 1996 it was the king without a shadow, and his own grandkids Lee make appearances in that book's characters, but even the dog made it in it, so the dog they had to is a character in the books and so that was that was the real motivation and that was what was behind it and of course the audience extended far beyond his own grandkids said to others as a way to just introduce them to the rich and deep theological themes that meant so much to RC in the title of that first book is indicative of the kind of theology that the doctrines that RC was not afraid to to convey to children right.

That's a great point Lee. It's the king without a shadow, and God of course is the king without a shadow and he doesn't have a shadow because he's not like us. So here it is in his first children's book he's tackling the doctrine of God and the transcendence of God and the grandeur of God and ultimately the holiness of God. And this of course is so central to all of Dr. scroll's teaching this central to our mission here at leader ministries and he didn't want to leave this doctrine for Christians until they were older you wanted to introduce it to them right at the beginning's of their lives in right at the beginnings of their Christian journey so the very first topic he tackles is the doctrine of God, and these kids books, and reflective of his belief that theology should be presented simply not simplistically button but simply correct.

Absolutely Lee. This was the hallmark of his teaching, and it really was. I think gift to the church so often theologians write for themselves. Talk to themselves and we need that we need those heavy lifting, scholarly theologians sent Dr. scroll himself certainly benefited from their work, but we also need to translate that as it were not to reduce it beyond recognition, but certainly to translate it to folks so that they can grasp it and more importantly so they can learn to love these doctrines and even just love these doctrines from an early age. He wrote several books the light wings is the one that we heard our series today but there are other titles the donkey who carried a king, the Prince with dirty clothes. The princes poison cup and again these reflect the key doctrines that he wanted to convey to these children right absolutely Lee that is the titles that you just mentioned, all in their own way deal with that other crucial doctrine. That, of course, is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The doctrines of grace and we all know, probably most of us first heard the solos from Dr. scroll's teaching and of course that central Sola of Sola vide justification by faith alone.

So we central so central to the gospel.

So here to Dr. scroll wants to tell these are the story of these doctrines in a compelling fashion with a great narrative.

Of course, there's that.

The challenge that the main character falls into and that needs to be resolved. So we have these great children's stories to teach these cardinal doctrines.

The nice map of course dealt with the doctrine of Scripture rent it. Did you know the course. The interesting thing about that book is it just so felt to be the hundredth book from the pen of Dr. scroll but goes back to something. He was very involved in and there's early years in the 1970s back the beginning of looking here of the International Council on biblical inerrancy and it was a crucial moment in the life of the church and Dr. scroll in God's providence played a key role here is this hundredth book.

Decades later, bringing that doctrine. And there's another Sola Lee Sola scrip Torah the authority of Scripture upbringing that doctrine very clear and very compelling way to children with that book.

And of course he wanted to emphasize the importance of prayer and he did that with the book about Luther yeah sort of killing two birds with one stone is that we've got a children's book on Luther and of course he's good. What introduce children to Luther, his his hero from the Reformation, but he chose an interesting moment. Cindy chose an interesting text of Luther's second Luther had a barber and to go to his barber in one day, as Barbara asked him he would teach him how to pray and Luther wrote a little text on prayer. That was a direct answer to that request from his barber while RC turns the whole thing into wonderful children's story of the barber who wanted to pray. Well Steve, I know that in writing.

Dr. scroll's biography, you spent quite a bit of time with Vesta and would you tell us about her interest in these books yeah Lee, one of the things she said to me she said I so glad you you put a spotlight on those children's books. She said for two reasons.

One, she just loved that RC did that here he is writing these books that mean so much to to adult Christians and so she loved it that RC would take the time to help children and the other thing is I think she just enjoyed the books I think C2 liked the story of the children's books so they were important to RC and as we might suspect they were also important to Vesta and children's books are important to you.

You're the author of several children's books as well. Right.

That's right Lee, I was able to publish a few children's books to on church history, which of course I just as Dr. scroll loves church history once to introduce doctrines to children.

I wanted to introduce the story of the church and the story of these wonderful figures from church history to kids and to got to say actually writing a children's book is a lot of fun.

I'm I might even say it's it's much more fun than writing books for adults but will just leave it at that. Thank you Dr. Nichols for being with us and again if you'd like to receive a copy of the book we heard RC read today the like links contact us with your gift of any about our number again is 800-435-4343. You can also give your gift Renewing Your Mind is a listener supported outreach ministries and we thank you for listening and I hope you make plans to join us again

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