Posts Tagged Under: child theology

Children as burdens or gifts?

Christmas, the season for gifts and children, is approaching, and lately I’ve followed some discussions on social media about whether children themselves are secretly seen as burdens rather than gifts by their parents. Unlike in the Hebrew Bible where children are considered God’s gift to the Chosen People, in secularized Western communities we tend to prioritize individual freedom before family or clan. Traditionally, children are idealized in our culture and represent the innocent and good in life, are precious objects worth cherishing and protecting. On the other hand, real children demand adult time, energy and resources which creates conflicts and exhaustion, and limits the possibility of adult personal self-fulfillment. I recently re-read the anthology The Child in Christian Thought and found inspiration from previous thinkers on children as God’s gifts.

Friedrich

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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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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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