The Lightlings

R. C. Sproul

40 pages

Reformation Trust (2006)

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Recommend: Yes

Genre: Juvenile Fiction


As a parent, one faces the task of presenting the deep truths of the Bible to your kids from an early age. R.C. has a bit of fame for not only being a Bible expositor, but a children’s author as well. In The Lightlings, Sproul presents the biblical story of salvation in an allegorical tale of a people known as the lightlings, which is sure to captivate a young audience.

Book Structure:

The bulk of this short book is the tale itself. We meet meet Charlie Cobb who asks a perplexing question to his mom before going to bed, “Mommy? Why am I afraid of the dark?” His mom, not knowing what to say, offers the suggestion of asking Charlie’s grandpa the next day. The next day before dinner, Charlie asks Grandpa the question; thus, the allegorical story begins.

A helpful addition is included at the end where parents have the ability to lead their kids in a deeper assessment of the rich biblical truths presented in the story:

3. The King made the lightlings to shine like Him. What was special
about God’s creation of people?

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish
of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
— Genesis 1:26-27

When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. — Genesis 5:1

Notable Quotes:

  • “The father lightling answered, ‘He is not my son. He is the Son of the King of Light. The King has given Him to us as a special gift. He has been born for us. When He grows up, He will be called the Light of the World. There will be no darkness strong enough to hide His light, no darkness deep enough to send His light away.'”
  • “Grandpa looked at Charlie and said, ‘You see, Charlie, we’re afraid of the dark because we were made to live in the light. But someday, all of us who love this Son will live with Him forever in heaven. When we go to the dwelling place of the Son, who is now the Light of the World, there will be no darkness at all. Not only that, there will be no moon. There won’t be any stars or even a sun. There’ll be no night lights, no lamps, no lanterns, not even any candles.'”
  • ‘Charlie, let me make a suggestion. Every time you see the sun, the moon, or the stars, or light a candle, or turn on your night light, remember the story of the child the King of Light brought into the darkness of this world. And remember that He gave us this baby as a present. As long as you remember that, you will never, ever have to be afraid of the darkness again.’


Though the intended audience is for ages 6 through 12, I particularly enjoyed the simplicity of this allegory. I look forward to the day, Lord willing, when I will have the duty and responsibility of rearing my children in the ways of God and sharing with them the deep doctrines of sin, grace, salvation, and redemption found in Christ.

I think Sproul’s tale will spark the interest of many kids, along with the beautiful illustrations by Justin Gerard.