Writers of children’s books tend to cast an air of innocence over everything. Instinctively, they understand (as we all do) that the world is far from what it should be. Rather than lying to children, they paint an ideal portrait of the world based on the ideal human which the child really is. It is a world where sunshine beams upon the landscape, all the creatures get along, and people usually avoid stepping on each other’s toes.
Although not all children’s authors believe in God (in fact many do not), all of them understand the need to paint a portrait that matches the innocence of their audience. Unconsciously, they attribute Edenic conditions to life on planet earth. And who among us would not wish the world to return to such a state?
Many atheists and skeptics do not believe in having children. In fact, in an atheistic world there is no need for procreation, and the procreative aspect of marriage is often bypassed. Educated men and women who have gotten past the concept of God declare that the “I” is final; that selfishness is merely a survival mechanism that helps push one to the front of the herd, thereby aiding the processes of “natural selection.”
But evolution vanishes when one enters the nursery. There, there is no need for an evolution because everything is perfect and harmonious. The mother duck guides her baby ducks across the pond while the poor lost kitten rides her back as it tries to find the way back home. This act of kindness represents the world as it should be. All evolution stops at that point because the end has been reached.
When Christians speak of Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world, they are admitting, as everyone else does, that the human race has somehow fallen — if merely from a more noble and lofty ideal. When that degradation, however, is seen to affect our very nature as well as that of everything around us, we need something better than fiction to bolster our worldview.
The Scriptures speak of a coming time when creation shall be restored; when “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cocatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11: 6-8).
To some, that may sound like a beautiful children’s story. But Christ said: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18: 3).
Our need is to return, like little children, to dependence on God and His Son, and to belief in the promise of eternal life and restoration of the earth to its perfect and pristine state. The end may sound like a fairy tale. But no one — not even atheists — will argue that “the real world” isn’t in need of some renovation. We universally recognize this need whenever we open any children’s book. It is part of our very nature and cannot be explained away.