Posts in Category: child and kingdom

My hope for CTM and its future

Sky image

“’John is saved, though Mary isn’t, and we are not quite sure about Bill,’ two Christian parents speaking of their own children, all under the age of twelve and who are completely aware of what is being said, and they react accordingly.” Some time ago I read a Christian book about children and came across this affirmation.* Of course, such thinking is familiar to me (meaning that I am aware of what theology and attitude to the faith lies behind it) but nevertheless I was struck by the “reality” of this seemingly ordinary and well accepted Christian consideration of those parents about their most loved ones; it sounded to me like the parents were saying that John (“like us, the

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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

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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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 Theology is born

by Keith J. White

The title of this paper took form during Advent last year. In the run up to Christmas there were the usual tasks – decorations, pantomime practices, Christmas cards, and a few sermons and talks. I wrote my usual article for Children Magazine on the theme of the marginalisation of children, and the editor gave it the headline ‘Left Out in the Stable’. (I never can get the title right and I admire those who can.) I had been wrestling with ‘Child Theology’ for some time and it was as I focused on the child-Christ, the baby in the manger, that the image of birth became a metaphor that seemed particularly and amusingly apt. One day perhaps Child Theology will toddle, go to school, perhaps even become a

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