About Me

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Bedford, Texas, United States
Pastor of Woodland Heights Baptist Church in Bedford, Texas and former Professor of Old Testament. But mostly I am a husband of an amazing wife, father of gifted children, and servant of an AWESOME God.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Children's Theology

"I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:15, HCSB)

This past week while the boys were watching the worship channel (hoping the Tim Hawkins ad would come on) Will attempted to turn all the Scripture verses into a song. As a result, he started repeating the refrain "Your ways oh God are Holy!" - A precious moment to be certain. But the event took an unexpected turn when Jonathan decided to sing back-up by repeating behind Will's refrain "home-made, home-made." Though confused in lyric, the content of the repetition expressed a profound reality when one stops to think about it - God's ways are home-made, and in a couple of ways.

His ways are His - they are made by Him alone. We do not dictate to Him. That is in fact one of the elements of holiness - His separateness, His distinctiveness and His loftiness.

Also, God's ways must be the center of the home. They make the home and they shape our paths. The home that follows His ways is the home that stands the test of time.

It was not the first time that I had personally heard a child confuse words being spoken to powerful effect. I will never forget a young child standing in the seats in church while we sang "At Calvary," and instead he shouted:

"Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty

What seems clear from these events is that children make connections about their view of God and transfer those thoughts into words as they believe they fit. They're not always right, but there is a simplicity and clarity in their thought that is something to be valued. I know as a professor and pastor my passion is always to see people go deeper in their faith and to see them to start to catch a glimpse of the power that God is and the sufficiency of His Grace - to understand the life that we have in Him.

On the other hand, there is certainly a value to recognizing the simplicity of the Gospel. That there is a God and He is GOOD. A childlike faith is the heart of how we are called to accept the Kingdom of God by our Savior. A faith that is unfettered, unqualified, and unconditional. A faith that sees all theology as relational in nature - not us-centered (for that is childishness, not childlikeness), but a faith that understands that everything we believe must be understood in terms of the effect it has on our relationship with God and with others. Without that, theology is nothing more than dry dogma and false religion.


Sean said...

Love this post, Tim, and I have been loving your blog. Keep sharing. I appreciate it.
Blessings from Canada.

Michelle B. said...

I love that! My K was very busy making videos from a young age. This post reminded me of something he used to say: "Now it's time for a FREE intermission!"

You are a blessing!