In Exeter University, they run a course on children's thinking in religious education. One of the questions that children have asked is profound: "What is a soul?" The "experts" at Exeter tell us that we should not really try to give them an answer. Karen Aylward, a course leader at the University, said "I would resist defining what it is. Instead, I would explore what they think it is and use their ideas as a starting point. I'd want to know why they've asked the question. Is it something they've seen on television, is it linked to a question at school, or are they curious about what happens to us after we die?"
If the children's question is profound the academic's answer is profoundly disturbing. Kids ask a deep question about something that is of the utmost importance and they deserve an answer. Instead, we are told, we should explore what they think the soul is. It's the old error that we cannot and must not speak authoritatively on such matters. One person's feelings are as valid as another's. What the child thinks is more important than "telling" it the answer.
Underlying this approach is the sad reality that in the West we have given the educational process over to a bunch of academics whose starting point is the blatant denial of the reality of the Bible as a the word of God and of the gospel of Christ as God's authoritative revelation to mankind. These academics have for the most part embraced multiculturalism -indeed, most universities would refuse to hire them if they did not embrace it-and so they relegate all answers to such a question as "What is a soul?" to the realm of unsupportable opinion, with one opinion or religious belief being as valid as the next.
The result is that our kids are growing up without any instruction on the most vital matters that affect their immortal souls. It is a tragedy that we have entrusted our children to a mostly anti-Christian bunch in the educational system, people who know nothing about the needs of their souls and care even less. Most churches don't help much either. Religion has become a matter of feeling good here and now, or of changing the world's economy, or of getting involved in the "green" movement. Most churches have more to say and do about Earth Day than about the Day of the Lord and the destiny of souls that will live forever.If your child asks, "Mom, what is a soul?" you should start by telling him that he is a soul. Go to Genesis and show him how God created man and breathed into him the breath of life, thus making him a living soul. Show him that this living soul will live on after it has been separated from the body. Use the words of Christ in Mark 8:36 to show him the preciousness of the soul. Tell him the good news of how the Lord Jesus made "his soul"-His real self-an offering to God to save our souls. Impress on him the truth that souls will either be with Christ or without Him for all eternity. Let him hear the glorious message that every soul who trusts Christ as Saviour and Lord will be saved and be with Him forever. Your child may not grasp the truth of all this all at once but he deserves an honest answer to an honest question. So, no matter what the "experts" say, give it to him and look to the Lord to make it effective to the saving of his soul.