Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reading suggestion: The Swiss Family Robinson

Al Mohler has a good post today on declining literacy among young people.

Looking for a good book to read on Christian family or an entertaining book to recommend to an older child? Check out Johann Wyss’ classic, The Swiss Family Robinson (make sure you get hold of an unabridged version!). The Disney movie, only loosely based on the book, of course, eliminated all the spiritual and explicitly Christian elements. Wyss’ tale of a Swiss family (father, mother, and four sons) shipwrecked on a deserted island is really a story about Christian family. The father (a pastor) is a wise spiritual leader who defends the family, teaches his young sons to be resourceful and good, and frequently leads his family in prayer and devotions.

After ten years on the island, the father reflects on their circumstances:

The shade of sadness cast on my mind by retrospect of this kind was dispelled by thoughts full of gratitude to God, for the welfare and happiness of my beloved family during so long a period. I had cause especially to rejoice in seeing our sons to manhood, strengthened by early training for lives of usefulness and activity wherever their lot might fall.

And my great wish is that young people who read this record of our lives and adventures should learn from it how admirably suited is the peaceful, industrious, and pious life of a cheerful, united family to the formation of strong, pure, and manly character.

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