Haddon Wilmer' Post

Displacing Jesus

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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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?


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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Lord I believe: help thou my unbelief

Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief – and Child Theology


This paper, I see, has some links with the last one I posted.   It starts with a  passage discarded from the draft of chapter 6 of our book on Matthew 18.1-10.   

 ‘Jesus did not merely welcome a child, to play with her or to do something for her benefit;  Jesus valued the child as a clue to thekingdomofGod, and so received the child into his own quest for and proclamation of the kingdom.  In this story, the child is not received into care as a child in need.  Nor is the child there to receive a  blessing (as in Matthew 19.13-15).  Rather, the silent child, who is simply in the midst,  partners Jesus in the active service of thekingdomofGod, by

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Being a child means growing up

Being a child means growing up

It is fashionable to say that childhood is not a preparatory stage in being human.

This is right insofar as it is true that the child is truly human and to be respected as such.

It is not right if it is said the child is fully human and so does not need to wait to grow up to be fully human.

Why is that not right? Because it seeks to combat a false notion falsely. The false notion is that adult humanity is full humanity and so normative and so also the goal of the child. That view of adult humanity is not to be combatted by the child’s engaging in a competitive struggle seeking to be accepted as being as fully human as adults. The right

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Child: model or sign?

Aniu is a seminary teacher in Nagaland who is doing research at OCMS on forgiveness where there is political assassination (as in his own country).   He recently sent me this paper arising from his work in the church, rather than from his research.   He has given me permission to share it on this blog.

I also add the response I made to his paper.

I am sure that he would be glad to hear directly from anyone who reads this paper.   We might discuss it on the blog and invite him to share in the discussion.  He knows about CTM but he has ‘never been able to understand what it really is about’. Aniu is a very sharp person so that comment is a challenge.

Will the Real Model Please Stand Up?

Kethoser (Aniu) Kevichusa



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