John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Santa Claus vs. Jesus

I'm writing a book on parenting. Is everyone aware of that? I feel like I've been writing it for about 10 years now, and it just won't end! I'm making progress, but it sure feels like slow going. Anyway, one of the things I want to do in this book is include a lot of personal stories from Christian leaders about how they actually are putting into practice (or not putting into practice) the things they teach and write about. I'm always collecting and soliciting stories like this.

One guy (I won't use his name here, but look for him in the book) is a professor of theology. He's written extensively on philosophy and worldview-related issues, and I have a ton of respect for him. For some reason I was surprised to hear that he and his wife tell their children (ages 2, 4 and 6) that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are fairy tale stories. He says, "I understand that many parents think they would rob their children of the wonder of childhood if they don't play along with the existence of Santa, but I would rather not risk corrupting my children's belief in God. When they eventually realize that what I told them about Santa is not true, might they also begin to suspect what I told them about God?"

Okay, I know this can be a very emotional subject matter, but I want to know: Do you think he's right? Or is he off-base? Please give reasons for your answer.