I was driving home from an appointment the other day and caught the Breakpoint commentary for the day. Imagine my delight when I discovered it was a discussion about the value of literature in a young person's life!
Karen Swallow Prior, an English prof at Liberty University, has written a memoir titled Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me. Her book focuses on how God used literature to draw her to Himself. But a couple of observations in the commentary made me think of Sonlight's article titled Why Sonlight Uses Certain Books that Some Homeschoolers Won't Touch.
From the commentary (highlighting mine) ... From the time she was very young, books were Prior's refuge and guide. She's not saying that all the books that she read were good or moral; some of them contained outright "falsehood." But the way to counter those books was reading "more and more books" in order to be exposed to "competing ideas and examples" and to learn to discern the truth. Prior quotes John Milton, that "conservative, Puritan Christian," who wrote in 1644, "Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"
I definitely believe there is a balance. We don't want our children wallowing in literary garbage. But this statement from the Sonlight article sums it up nicely, in my opinion ... We should not close our eyes to what is ugly, contemptible, unhealthy, or evil and pretend it doesn't exist. We must be aware of such things if we are to avoid their dangers. But, God says, we need to focus on the good.
I challenge you to challenge your children in their reading ... help them to discern what is unhealthy and evil, and to focus on what is true, noble and excellent. But don't be afraid to let them learn about and engage the culture in which they're living.
Still on the journey ...
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