Displacing Jesus

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The danger of displacing Jesus

There is always a danger in Child Theology, and indeed in any Christian engagement with children, that the child takes the centre and outweighs even Jesus in importance. (Keith White and I discuss this further in chapter 1 of the book, Entry Point: Towards Child Theology with Matthew 18.)

What is the ‘rightful place’ of Jesus? The question besets us wherever we turn. Do the answers that Christians give stand up? Do we say one thing and live another?

It is not only the child in the midst who exposes the underlying issue.
In clearing out old papers, I came across this note from Will Herberg, quoted in Robert L Ferm, Issues in American Protestantism, (1983), p. 351:

The very same people who, four out of five, say they

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Why do I do child theology?

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By Nicolás Panotto

I have been doing child theology for several years. Much of this stems from my work with religious organizations and theological programmes in holistic child development, as well as from my church work and partnership in projects with children in vulnerable situations.

But the main reason I am involved in this process is because of my brother Juan Marcos who is two years younger than me. He is disabled due to an accident three weeks after his birth. His life is indeed a gift from God. It is a constant fight for survival at every stage of his life: his weak body facing daily demands and adversities.

As a family we have experienced a singular process. We value the richness of life in the smallest details. A timid

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Nathaniel Darling shares his thoughts following a week spent working with the Child Theology Movement

Thanks to Nathaniel Darling for sharing this post with us – first published on http://www.moortownbaptistchurch.org.uk/

10 AUGUST 2016

The week before last saw a consultation on the future of the Child Theology Movement take place at High Leigh conference centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. This is a movement Haddon Willmer has been closely involved with from its beginnings in the late 1990s, and I was fortunate to be able to participate in last week’s consultation as a note-taker and administrator.

CTM (3) (300x95)Child Theology is a young term, with no clearly defined subject matter, so a wide range of topics were discussed: the role of human rights’

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What childhood stories helped you live?

 

I have always had a keen interest in children’s literature, first as an avid child reader, later as a parent and a teacher. I looked for stories that rang true, stories that made me laugh, cry, think and grow, stories that in some small way helped me live my life: C.S. Lewis books of Narnia were among my favourites. Later, I have tried to pass these books along to children in my care and within my circle of acquaintance, in the hope that others will also find something they need in them.

No one read me Bible stories as a child, even if I became familiar with many of them by way of retelling and referencing in books and in school work. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I had

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Saying the Lord’s Prayer from a different perspective – from Haddon Willmer

As we concluded our time together at High Leigh, Haddon Willmer offered this reading of the Lord’s Prayer from a ‘different perspective’.

Deliver us from the evil – of ever giving up praying this prayer

  • whatever the pressure of temptation.

Deliver us from losing the ‘our’ to make the Father ‘mine’.

Deliver us from claiming the Kingdom now rather than steadily praying for it to Come.

Deliver us from seeking the Father in heaven as though he has abandoned the earth

  • where there is stomach hunger for missing daily bread
  •  where there is sinning up to seventy times seven

Deliver us from escaping the Father’s house  to seek our misfortune in the far country

Rather let us ever and again find our way back to our Father’s  welcome feast with all the household

So let his name, Father, be credible,

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Karl Barth and Eduard Thurneysen – Child Theologians? By Haddon Willmer

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Karl Barth and Eduard Thurneysen’s God’s Search for Man (English translation, 1935) is a collection of sermons. The two men were very close and it is fair to assume they went along with each other’s sermons, especially those which were published together. This collection  includes one, by Thurneysen,  called ‘The New Beginning’, on the text of Matthew 18.1-9. It is a piece of child theology.

The sermon begins:

Jesus places children before us.  He uses them as a parable in order to say something decisive to us. Children are people who still stand at the beginning of life…..For them… everything is filled with possibility and promise; life is an open book filled with unwritten pages….

For us (grown-ups) it is too late for almost everything.  We do not have an undeveloped life before

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Happy Christmas? Haddon Willmer, 2015

Note: this post first appeared on the Moortown Baptist church blog, reposted here with permission of Haddon Willmer.

Happy Christmas?

8 DECEMBER 2015

By Haddon Willmer.

At the art class I go to each week, we were given Christmas as a theme for our next attempt. I dislike tinsel, though like most people I get entangled in it every year. It comes in many kinds and it seems churlish to do a Scrooge on it, saying ‘Humbug’.

share_2070826246But how to paint a picture doing justice to Christmas as told in the Gospels? This is daunting if one is not a skilled painter; and even more daunting when one

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CTM Newsletter No 14 September 2015

Keith White
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Boletín informativo No. 14 del Movimiento de Teología Infantil [CTM por sus siglas en inglés],
Septiembre de 2015

CTM Newsletter No 14 September 2015

Este boletín informativo se presenta en español e inglés como parte del desarrollo de la página web del CTM y como respuesta a una creciente demanda.

This newsletter comes in both Spanish and English as part of the development of the CTM website and in response to a growing demand.

Punto de Ingreso:    Hacia una Teología del Niño con Mateo 18      

Entry Point:                Towards Child Theology with Matthew 18                                                                

La edición en español de este libro escrito por Haddon Willmer y Keith White se lanzó durante la Conferencia sobre Teología Infantil (CT) celebrada en Quito, Ecuador a finales de agosto de 2015.  Pueden conseguirse

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CTM Newsletter No 13 March 2015

Keith White

Another brief update from the directors of CTM as Easter nears once again.

We wish you a joyful Easter and God’s gift of peace through the risen Jesus Christ
and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Four items of news right now …

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1. Entry Point: Towards Child Theology with Matthew 18

This book by Haddon Willmer and Keith White is currently being translated into Spanish. We are glad that it will be accessible to many more readers. It will be ready for the Quito Conference (see below).

From 20 March, 2015, the English version of Entry Point will be also be available in all electronic formats including iBook and Kindle. The ISBN (different from the printed book) is: 9780956475749, and it can be sourced from that

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CTM Newsletter No 12 December 2014

Keith White

This brief Advent newsletter of the Child Theology Movement comes on behalf of the directors of CTM bringing news and greetings in the name of Jesus to all who are associated or connected with through this lively, growing movement.  May you experience the joy of Christ at Christmas, and His presence and peace in 2015.

The directors met face to face in London at the end of October 2014 and this was a good time to take stock of some of the developments in the past twelve months.

Four Books

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Entry Point: Towards Child Theology with Matthew 18 was published a year ago, and since then there have been reviews and comments suggesting that this will

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