Introducing Secular Views on Creation
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Today's question says, "When do I introduce my child to their Darwinian and secular view of how the world was created? I am looking at world atlas books and historical atlas books for kids, and they all start with the Big Bang and then talk about how we evolved, etc. How do I make a decision about having a fun world atlas with tons of facts in our family library that's also not biblical?"
Note: The following is an auto-transcript of the podcast recording.
Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of the Foundation Worldview Podcast where we seek to answer your questions so that you can equip the children that God has placed in your care to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter and understand the truth of the biblical worldview. I'm your host, Elizabeth Urbanowicz, and I'm thrilled that you've joined me for another episode today. Today's question says, "When do I introduce my child to their Darwinian and secular view of how the world was created? I am looking at world atlas books and historical atlas books for kids, and they all start with the Big Bang and then talk about how we evolved, etc. How do I make a decision about having a fun world atlas with tons of facts in our family library that's also not biblical?" Really good question to think through. What types of books should we have in our home libraries and what types of books should we expose our kids to?
So we're going to dive down deep into that question, but before we do, if you have found the content of this podcast beneficial, I would ask that you would consider liking and subscribing to make sure that you never miss a future episode, and also ask that you would consider writing a review and sharing this content with those within your sphere of influence so that we can equip as many children as possible to understand the truth of the biblical worldview.
Now, as we think through today's question, there are really two separate questions that are being asked. The first one is, "when do I introduce this concept of secular view of origins?" And then the second question is, "how do I decide to have books that teach an alternate view of creation?" So those are two separate questions that I'm going to address separately. So the first one, when should we introduce this concept?
When should we help our kids understand that there are different theories of origins and not all of them line up with the biblical worldview? Now, this decision, it might be different for different families. Obviously if you're sending your children to public school, you should have this conversation before they go to kindergarten because they are going to be presented with this secular view of origins right off the bat from kindergarten. I remember even in my own first grade classroom, just having a chart in the classroom about Darwinian evolution and how we supposedly evolved from single cell organisms all the way up to sea creatures and then land creatures, and then eventually mammals and then humans. And I remember seeing that in my first grade classroom. So we want to make sure we introduce this to our children before they are exposed to it out in the world.
And even if our children are going to a Christian school or they're homeschooled, that's still something that we want to make sure that we have a discussion with them about early on. For those of you who have taken the children in your care through our early childhood worldview curriculum here at Foundation Worldview, that this is a concept that we cover from the biblical worldview, right in that early childhood worldview curriculum. Right from the age of four where that curriculum was designed to be started, we teach a biblical view of origins not only using scripture as the bedrock, but also showing how the science actually supports the fact that we need some kind of intelligent designer in the equation. The information always comes from an intelligent source on purpose and in our life, in our bodies, we find vast quantities of information, you know, the DNA in our body has more information in it than a library full of books.
And every time we find information somewhere else in the world, it always points back to an intelligent designer. And once we've laid that biblical foundation, that's rooted both in scripture and in science, then we can prepare them to hear alternate views, which as the person who wrote this question in has said, those views are in all sorts of different books. Right now, one of my nephews is four years old and he loves dinosaurs, and in almost every single dinosaur book that he encounters at the library, there's some secular narrative of origins and how dinosaurs came to be. I found this even in my own classroom library when I was a teacher, that the books I had on dinosaurs and the books that the atlases that I had and other types of books all had very secular origin narratives. And so we have to prepare our children to understand people believe different things about how the world was created.
And again, if you've taken your kids through that Early Childhood curriculum, we set it up so that they're looking at the science really in depthly, and then they're able to see, "oh my goodness, what God's word says completely supports what the science points to". Those of you who have taken your children through Foundation Comparative Worldview curriculum that in that curriculum, not only do we do the same thing in showing how the science points towards an intelligent designer, but then we actually directly instruct them in different origin narratives that come from different worldviews, and then we have them compare and contrast, "okay, which origin narratives actually match up with what the science has revealed to us". So that they're discovering on their own, "oh my goodness, the biblical narrative of God being the creator and sustainer of life that actually matches the evidence that we find in the world around us".
So this first question, when do I introduce the concept? Introduce it right now. However old your child is, even if you're child is three, four years old, they're not too young to understand God's word. They're not too young to start looking at the science and they're not too young to understand different people believe different things. So that's the first part of the question. Then the second question is "how do we decide whether or not to have books with these alternate ideas in them?" Now, my recommendation would be to have those books in your home library so that your kids are actually exposed to these ideas when they're still within the safety of your own home, and you have the opportunity to talk with them about the different views that are presented and which views can actually align with scripture and which views very clearly do not align with scripture.
Because if all we ever present our kids with is just the biblical view and they're never presented with any alternate worldviews, then when they go out into the world, they're going to be completely unprepared for what they're facing. So we want to make sure that we have the opportunity to expose them to those ideas while they're still in our home and while we have the opportunity to talk through those things with them, because just as it would be unwise to never expose our children to these competing ideas, it would also be very unwise to expose them to these competing ideas without any dialogue and discussion around it and just letting these ideas be presented as if they're true without ever any thought behind it. So as you decide on which books to have in your home library, I do recommend that you have some of those secular books that have those alternate narratives.
First, have the conversation with your child about what science points to then have the conversation about what scripture says, then have the conversation about what other worldviews teach and give them the opportunity to compare and contrast, and then they'll be ready for what they find in these books. Also, if you are looking for books, I think the questionnaire said that there, oh, this, I'm thinking of a different question actually. There was another question that we had a few months ago about a child liking dinosaurs, but if your child isn't particularly interested in dinosaurs, if you hold to a Young Earth Creation view of creation, I know that answers in Genesis have some really fun books for kids on dinosaurs. And then again, also recommend that you have some of those secular books too, so that you can have those different conversations with your children. Now, I know probably for the vast majority of you listening, and even for myself, we are not experts in most of the sciences.
We've taken science classes as we've gone through school, maybe some in college, maybe we enjoy watching scientific documentaries, but most of us are not experts in the science. And so what I recommend is that you actually do some research ahead of time before having these conversations with your children. That you do research to learn, "okay, what are the different views that are out there both within the Christian community that believes that God is the creator and sustainer of all?" And then in the secular community, which completely takes God out of the equation. That you do research so that you know what the views are before you are talking about them with your children. Now, if you're working with older children, if you're working with kids ages eight on up, this is a great opportunity to do research along side them and to say, you know what?
Let's do some research together and you can teach them you know how to do a good Google search because everything that pops up on the first page of Google is not necessarily reliable. Those of you who have taken your children through Foundation Careful Thinking Curriculum, we have several whole lessons on that, how to evaluate the strength of evidence and the reliability of the sources that evidence comes from. So this is a great opportunity to teach your children as you're studying origins, to weigh the value of information or support given for an idea, and also to weigh the credibility of the sources from which it's coming from. Now, one thing I think we need to be very, very careful of in the Christian community, that we don't do, is that we don't confuse or conflate different questions in our minds because when our children are presented with alternate ideas, that can frequently be a very scary thing because we're thinking, "oh my goodness, is my child going to be taken captive by this alternate worldview?"
And so a lot of times the mode we automatically go into is, "how can I clean this up and get my child to believe Christianity as quickly as possible?" And so a lot of times we confuse different questions, we put them all together, and we just want our child to say, "yes, the Bible's true. I trust everything about it." And do we want that? Ultimately, yes, we want children who are reconciled in their relationship to God, children who are submit themselves under the authority of God's word, but that doesn't happen in one quick conversation. It's going to be a whole lifetime of a child learning and growing.
Even for us, for those of us who have been reconciled in our relationship to God, sanctification is a lifelong process. So a lot of times what happens in the Christian community is we just want our kids so badly to have the Jesus answer. And for those of you listening, you couldn't see, I just put up in air quotes, "Jesus". The Jesus answer. We just want them to have the Bible answer so quickly that we just shove all of these different questions together. Where when we're helping our children think critically and biblically through what they're presented with, we have to look at the different questions that are being answered.
For example, the question, "how did the universe begin?" is different than the question, "when did the universe begin?" Okay, so how did the universe begin? Has the universe been eternally existent - which that's not what science points to or was there a single moment when the universe began to exist - which that's what the science points to. That's also what scripture points to. Then the question, "when did the universe begin?" "How old is the universe?" That's a completely different question.
It's also different than the question, "how old is the earth?" Because the universe is this vast expanse and then the earth, we're just talking about one specific planet. And the question of the age of the Earth is also different than the question, "what conditions on earth make it suitable for life?" Why is it that planet earth is a planet that is just full of life? And the question on the conditions that make Earth suitable for life is different than the question, "how did life begin?" Which is also different than the question, "how did humans get to be here?" Because the question on the original start of life is different than the question, "how did human life start?"
So we want to make sure that we are untangling these questions in our mind because a lot of times what Christians do is they just confuse questions about the age of the earth and the start of life and the start of the universe and the age of the universe, and they just get it in this one big jumble, and it's very confusing, and they don't spend time getting clear answers to all of the different questions.
So if you're working with really little kids and you're thinking, "oh my goodness, Elizabeth, how in the world can I cover all of these questions?" Well, with a four year old, you're not going to cover all of these questions, but you're going to want to think, "okay, what is very clear in scripture that my child can understand?" Well, my child can understand that God is the creator of everything. You know that everything that exists, exists because God created it and God sustains it. And you can read through Genesis one together and say, "what do we learn about God from this passage?" And you can talk through - God created everything. God created the light. He created the darkness. He created the stars. He created the planets. He created the land. He created the sea. He created the fish. He created the birds. He created the land creatures.
He created humans. And so a four year old can understand these things, and then you can go to a secular book and you can read a creation narrative in there that just talks about accidents happen, happening and eventually leading to the life that we find on earth and say, "does this, this story of creation have God in it? No, it doesn't. So there's some people out there who think that we all got here this way by accident, and then what does the Bible teach? Does the Bible teach that we got here this way accidentally? Let's look at Genesis 1 again. No, the Bible teaches that God purposely created everything." And if you have Foundation Early Childhood Worldview curriculum, this is a great time when then you can go into that unit three that we have in that curriculum and go through the five lessons on the start of life that go into both the scripture and the science.
For those of you who are watching and listening who are just thinking, "I just really want some resources on this so that I can learn more on this." A great book that I would recommend that just kind of covers some of these different questions that I just talked through about the origin of the universe and the origin of Earth, the origin of life on Earth, the origin of humans is the book called 'Science and the Mind of the Maker' by Melissa Cain Travis. And that's a great book that just goes through answers to these different questions from a very scientific perspective, and also looking at how that aligns with scripture.
Well, that's a wrap for this episode. But as always, my prayer for you as we leave this time together is that no matter the situation in which you and the children God has placed in your care find yourself, that you would trust that God is working all things together for your good by using those things to conform you more into the image of his son. I'll see you next time.
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