Raising Christian Children

I wrote this short piece to show what it really means to believe in justification by faith alone rather than justification as a reward for acts of personal piety–specifically the claim that one must convert in order to be saved.

It is, of course, true that unbelievers must convert from unbelief.  It is also true that the life of faith is one of continual repentance–which is sometimes called “conversion.”  But when children are already believers, it is an act of Pharisaical pride to exclude them from the number of those we treat as Christians.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of the and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea….

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

2 thoughts on “Raising Christian Children

  1. Jim

    If you’re interested, this paper makes much the same point, although not focused on children. I guess you’d argue that, along with Luther, Calvin didn’t embrace the “wrong” way of thinking about faith.

    I found the paper helpful. I also think it dovetails nicely with a re-emphasis on the idea that we’re saved particularly by Christ’s faith(fulness).


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