Parenting and Theology

"How did they fit all the animals on the ark?"

Preaching is difficult, but trying to explain Bible stories to your child is downright intimidating. In these little conversations I become aware of the shaping power ideas have, and theology seems positively dangerous.

On the one hand, I could try and explain genre and nuance ancient literature to her, but that's a little unwieldy. Or I could just roll with it and say, "Well, dear, that's what it says. Can you imagine?"

How do you explain texts that are thousands of years old to children? I don't want her to see the text as a tangential husk to some vague 18th century God-spirit telling  us to be nice, but neither do I want her to grow up harassing her science teachers because evolution is just a "theory" alongside intelligent design.

In the end, I guess I hedge my bets; "Well honey, I don't know if every animal in the world was in the ark. After all, there's no reason fish would be in the ark. I think maybe it was big flood and they just gathered up all the animals they knew."

Close enough. I'll address the fates of those locked out of the ark after she brings it up. Until then, I've got to find the magic developmental chart that will make parenting decisions for me. And keep praying.


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