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The Owlings: Book Two Paperback – November 22, 2015
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About the Author
D.A. DeWitt (PhD, Southern Seminary) is the dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses on worldview, philosophy, apologetics, and C. S. Lewis. He and his wife, April, reside in Louisville, KY, with their four children, Isaiah, Micah, Josiah, and Addiliynn. Dan is the author of Jesus or Nothing (Crossway 2014) and Christ or Chaos (Crossway 2016). Dan posts regularly on his blog Theolatte.com.
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The books are The Owlings, Book I and Book II by D.A. DeWitt. DeWitt is the dean of Boyce College (the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). At Boyce, he teaches courses on worldview, philosophy, apologetics, and C. S. Lewis. He has written several books, most recently, Christ or Chaos (Crossway, 2016). He also blogs regularly at Theolatte.com. (I’d encourage you to check him out; I enjoy his weekly “Weekend Worldview Reader” email).
In Book I, we meet a boy named Josiah who has lost his father. He and his mother live on a farm. My children giggled each time Josiah’s mother calls her son, “Sugar booger,” which she did frequently. Josiah and his friend and neighbor, Addi—with the help of four talking owls—work through the prospect of moving, a significant challenge for a young boy. In Book II, more characters are added, including Matt and Megan, and a bully named Cody. (After all, what would a childhood be like without a bully?!)
Each book engages a different aspect of an atheistic worldview. In Book I, the issue is naturalism. Josiah has a substitute teacher named Sam (after notable atheist Sam Harris), who teaches the class that “Nature is all that there was, is, and ever will be”—an allusion to Carl Sagan’s famous quote. Through a family struggle, Josiah meets four talking owls who help him learn that there is more to our world than nature; preeminently, there’s a Creator who cares deeply about his creation.
In Book II, the issue is—what might be called—scientism. In this view, science is not so much “helper of man,” but rather a god. This story takes place during a field trip to a local museum. It’s here that the museum’s director, Dr. Russell (who is named after famous atheist Bertrand Russell), repeatedly seeks to teach the students that “What science cannot teach us, we cannot know.” Again, with the help of the owls, Josiah learns the limits of scientism, even as he seeks to solve the case of who stole his lunchbox.
DeWitt plans to write five books in the series. I’m sure our family will be reading each as they are released.
Readers who are new to the series can certainly pick up this book since DeWitt has thoughtfully written this story so that it can stand on its own. But readers of the first book will be pleased to see Josiah and Addi return with a new story, new characters, and new lessons to learn about the world around them. Of course, one thing isn't new--the timely appearance of our colorful and heroic owls: Clive, Gilbert, Dorothy, and Reuel.
Although my daughter is still too young to read this book, that didn't stop me from ordering a copy. I loved it so much that I read it in one sitting. And when my daughter is old enough, I'll happily read it again with her.