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Alister McGrath's new children's fiction series. Fantasy meets theology.

Categories Theology


Have you ever been to a church service where the pastor steps out in front of the pulpit, sits on the top step of the riser stairs, and talks with the congregation’s kids? Often, the children’s talk is a simplified version of what the pastor intends to share a few moments later with the adults sitting in the sanctuary. Depending on the pastor’s abilities, the talk either captures the kids’ imaginations or simply serves as a nice opportunity to stretch their legs and whisper to their friends.

Now imagine a top theologian, one who regularly defends the Christian faith toe-to-toe with leading atheists, using logic and science and all the tools of the academic world, kneeling down to speak to the children. One might imagine a disaster, since it’s not uncommon for those most comfortable in the top universities of the world to be uncomfortable speaking simply and in a way that captures the imagination of a child.

200px-Alister_McGrath Alister McGrath, however, shatters this stereotype with his new series of fantasy books for children, The Aedyn Chronicles.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dr. McGrath currently serves as Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King’s College, where he also serves as Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture. Dr. McGrath is a prolific author, and routinely takes on the weightiest subject matters within Christianity. From Understanding the Trinity in 1988 to Intellectuals Don’t Need God and Other Modern Myths in 1993, to The Dawkins Delusion? in 2007. (In fact, you can get a sense of the debate between Dawkins and McGrath in an interview Dawkins conducted of McGrath, but which never aired.)

Aedyn chron In his latest work, Chosen Ones, McGrath begins his "Aedyn Chronicles" children’s sermon. With the simple story of two teens called to rescue the slaves in a fantasy kingdom ruled by dark lords, McGrath teaches kids about serving God rather than themselves and about relying on His promises, rather than their own doubts.

Harrey Lee Poe, the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University, had this to say about McGrath and The Aedyn Chronicles:

"Several years ago I heard Alister McGrath express the view that we needed Christians who could express their faith imaginatively and artistically instead of only in logical lectures. He was quick to point out that he did not have the talent or skill to do it, but he lied."

"Alister McGrath has discovered the path that leads to what J. R. R. Tolkien called Faerie. It is a perilous path that leads from smugness to understanding, and along the way McGrath sweeps us up in this marvelous story he has woven from silvery imagination."

"For many years Alister McGrath suffered from a very bad case of seriousness, but he has recovered. We will all be doing much better now."

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