I love to tell stories to children, and whenever I do, they never ask me if the story was real. On the contrary, children first ask the important questions like, “Was he good?” Or, “Did they live happily ever after?” Children are much more concerned with understanding right and wrong than with dates and times, and in this regard, theology and fiction are in step. As G.K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” C.S. Lewis said something similar when he observed, “We do not despise real woods because we have read of enchanted woods; the reading makes all real woods a little enchanted.”

The world is full of terrors, both real and imagined, but true Christians—bold Christians—know that faith overcomes fear. Fear is the prelude to courage—you cannot be brave if you’re never afraid. And because we know that God’s Spirit in us surpasses any horror in the world, we can advance in power and confidence with Christ.

The church of the future will help her people rediscover the magic and the mystery that exists in every moment, right before our very eyes. She will penetrate our fantasy-obsessed culture, helping them to see that God still works in surprising ways.

Adapted from Then. Now. Next.: A Biblical vision of the church, the kingdom, and the future.