Friday, November 12, 2010
Reformation Trust Book Review: 'The Lightlings' by R.C. Sproul
In The Lightlings, Dr. R.C. Sproul weaves an allegorical tale that captures the essence of the biblical story of redemption in a manner that will fascinate and delight children. A race of tiny beings known as lightlings are a picture of humanity as they pass through all the stages of the biblical drama - creation, fall, and redemption. In the end, children will understand why some people fear light more than darkness, but why they need never fear darkness again.
The Lightlings is an excellent introduction to the key themes of Scripture. Richly detailed illustrations by Justin Gerard will hold children’s interest, and discussion questions with Scripture references in the back will help parents guide children into the deeper meaning of the story.
I happened to accidentally stumble onto the website of Ligonier Ministries about a week ago. I was reading some of the wonderful articles on the site when I noticed that they also had a publishing arm, Reformation Trust Publishing. I saw the book 'The Lightlings' and thought it sounded absolutely wonderful. Reformation Trust Publishing was kind enough to provide me with a review copy of the book so that I could share this wonderful book with all of you. If you're interested in purchasing a copy for yourself, you can find it for sale both on their website and on Amazon.
First off, let me just say this: what a wonderfully creative way to explain such complicated biblical concepts to young children! In the tale, Charlie asks his mother why he, and others, are afraid of the dark. Not knowing quite how to answer the question for Charlie, she suggests that he ask his grandfather the next evening when he comes to dinner. When Charlie asks his grandfather this question the following evening, he responds "...not only are lots of people afraid of the dark, many people are afraid of the light.” This answer confuses Charlie, so his grandfather decides to tell him a story in order to help him understand. Thus begins the story of The Lightlings.
The Lightlings are essentially little fairy-like creatures, created by The King of Light. They shone bright as he did and lived happily in a beautiful, sun-bathed garden. Eventually The Lightlings lost their way, and hid in the darkness away from The King of Light.
One day they saw a very bright light shining in their very dark forest. Some were scared and hid themselves, but the youngest lightlings were curious and decided to investigate. They eventually discovered another family of lightlings who were holding a baby lightling that shone brightly.They are told that the baby Lightling will make their world light again and he would chase away the darkness.
The Lightlings are so excited by this news and run back to the others to tell them of this baby who would save them from the darkness. Some were afraid of the light and ran away to hide themselves, but most were happy and danced happily in the light that began to creep into their forest.
Charlie's Grandfather explains, "You see, Charlie, we’re afraid of the dark because we were made to live in the light. But someday, all of us who love this Son will live with Him forever in heaven. When we go to the dwelling place of the Son, who is now the Light of the World, there will be no darkness at all." He then offers this advice to Charlie about his fear of the dark: "Every time you see the sun, the moon, or the stars, or light a candle, or turn on your night light, remember the story of the child the King of Light brought into the darkness of this world. And remember that He gave us this baby as a present. As long as you remember that, you will never, ever have to be afraid of the darkness again."
I really enjoyed this book. It's written is such a way that even small children can comprehend the basic story, but that older children will be able to delve deeper into the meanings and symbolism of the story. I'd say and age range of between 4-10 would be appropriate. There is also a Question and Answer section, that contains bible references, in the back of the book that will prove to be helpful when older children start to ask questions in regards to theme, character, events, etc. The absolutely beautiful illustrations will help to keep children of all ages engaged in the story.
In conclusion, wonderful book, stunning illustrations. I'd definitely recommend it for any Christian household with children. I'll definitely be looking into Sproul's other children's books, The Prince's Poison Cup, The King Without a Shadow, and The Priest with the Dirty Clothes.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Reformation Trust Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”