Boyce College dean publishes ‘worldview adventure’ for children, ‘The Owlings’
Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently published a children’s novella, The Owlings, to help educate young and old alike about the Christian worldview. The Owlings introduces readers to an owl named Gilbert who helps a young boy answer his questions about the world.
“The Owlings is a worldview adventure for readers young and old alike about a young boy named Josiah who discovered an important lesson from some unlikely visitors,” DeWitt writes. “This short novel (or novella) mixes humor and intrigue to introduce the most basic principle of reality — the existence of God.” Readers meet Gilbert, a talking owl, and three of his friends who together explore the wonder of creation.
The novella begins with a young boy named Josiah who does not know what to think about a substitute teacher who tells his class that nature created everything in the world. This causes Josiah to wonder if this is true, which makes him want to talk to someone about it.
“On this night, Josiah wished the owls could actually talk instead of merely saying ‘who, who’ over and over again. He’s always felt as though their calls kept him company as he sits at his window thinking. But tonight it would be great if they could actually share a conversation. They are, after all, supposed to be really wise,” DeWitt writes in the first chapter.
Josiah did not expect the owls to talk to him. But then Gilbert, the talking, philosophical owl, appears. This is where the story really begins, DeWitt writes.
DeWitt believes stories, for Christians, are a powerful way to explain the gospel. And, he says, every worldview is a story that began with the ultimate story in the very beginning when God spoke the world into being.
“For the atheist, the story begins with eternal, impersonal, and mindless matter. Every following chapter must work out this irrational plot,” according to DeWitt. “The Christian narrative is summarized in the prologue to John's gospel, ‘In the beginning was the Word ... and the Word became flesh.’ The Christian story is simply better, and to borrow a pet phrase from Henry Kissinger, ‘it has the added advantage of being true.’”
The Owlings is a great way to introduce children or remind adults of the “glory of the universe,” as DeWitt wrote. Its short, easy-to-read style makes it perfect for readers of any age, he says.
More information about The Owlings is available at TheOwlings.org and is available for purchase on Amazon.com.