R. C. Sproul is a gifted preacher and teacher of God’s word. His ability to teach profound truth in a simple and clear way has blessed many. This great theologian has blessed us further over recent years in his writing of children’s books. Sproul and story are a good mix. In this post I will review his book The Lightlings.
The book begins with a young child getting ready for bed. This child – frightened of the dark – asked his mother to turn on the nightlight. He asks his mother why is he afraid of the dark. Revealing the difficulty of this question, she tells her son that grandpa is coming over the next night and he can answer that question. When grandpa comes, he warmly answers the question by telling a story. The story is about the King of Light who created a group of people called Lightlings. They reflected the light of their King but one day they disobeyed. This act caused them to forfeit their light and they started living in darkness. Such a condition was horrible and because they could not see they hurt themselves.
One day, some of the lightlings discovered a baby (the King of Light’s son) that was shining like the sun. By means of worshipping this child, their faces began to shine. They took this exciting news to family and friends. They were restored to light because the King of Light had sent His son to be the light of the world.
R.C. Sproul does an amazing job in this allegory by providing characters that reflect biblical characters. God the Father is “the King of Light” and is also referred to as the “King without a Shadow (cf. 1 John 1:5). Adam and Eve are the original Lightlings. The father, mother and baby are a reference to Joseph, Mary and Jesus.
This allegory points to the biblical themes of creation, fall and redemption. It is told with great imagination and is very engaging. It is written with real warmth and the illustrations help bring the story alive.
On a practical level, the book provides a series of questions and Scripture references at the end. This can be used to assist parents (or whoever is reading it) in instructing children in the Biblical themes found in this book. The Lighlings is an excellent book, one that I will be reading to my children for many years to come.
I am grateful to Reformation Trust for providing me with a free copy of this book for this review.