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 regard Jesus as divine, when asked to name the most important event in all universal history, place the Christ-event – the birth or crucifixion of Christ – fourteenth in the list, tied with the Wright brothers’ invention of the airplane: the Number 1 event, almost without exception, is given as Columbus’ discovery of America.
If this is accepted as a real issue, it is immediately clear that we have a lot of searching theological work to do and to undergo. The response is not simple or obvious. It is all so difficult, we will be tempted to smother the question. With a good conscience?