Building Faith One Child at a Time

Sometimes you may want to read a book to help stimulate your own thinking. That is, you kind of expect to disagree on things,or maybe you’re just not quite in the mood to read it but you think it’d be good for you. Anyway, you know a book may offer food for thought on the topic. For me, Building Faith One Child at a Time was such a book.

Sometimes I wonder if I am overboard in my emphasis on the means of grace. I’m pretty dogmatic (whether in a positive or negative sense remains unclear) that how questions are answered simply: the Word of God, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Jesus. Gospel. Law. Lutheran Sunday school kind of answers.

I’m also pretty thoroughly convinced about classical education and, as I read The Benedict Optiondisillusioned with some of the scientific emphases as accepted these days.

So, since Building Faith One Child at a Time reviews several prominent scientists and their understanding of childhood development and then apply it to faith . . . well, it got me thinking. Which was the point.

The book is not “liberal.” It’s not unorthodox, although I wish it were heavier on the means of grace. I mean, God’s Word is good and highlighted. Even the liturgy is mentioned in a positive light.

Still, the emphasis on teachers designing experiences . . . I’m just used to parents being the primary teachers. And, as for my kiddos, I can lead ’em to water, but I can’t force them to drink. The experiences they have is ultimately up to them.

In particular, I am reminded that I do not believe that heart and mind knowledge are separate. There is no difference in the knowledge, as far as I can tell. Rather, there are different ways to process things, even simultaneously within the self. Specifically, the faith, that gift of God, is the same faith. We just may experience it differently at times, especially as certain parts of us develop or particularly claim our attention.

I won’t formally review this book on various sites since I don’t think I’m the intended audience. Again, it is not unorthodox. It’s just not particularly part of a “Benedict Option,” if you know what I mean (and I am not wholehearted subscribing to that either!). In my mind, this book just largely follows a progressive educational mindset. For those of you who might care or recognize the expression. 🙂

Yay for exploring childhood faith and affirming faith as a saving gift of God! The writing is fine. The theology carefully thought through, which I commend! There was an ongoing clarity about faith being a gift from God, etc. Just not a manual for how I’ll educate or understand my kiddos. Although, a great tip (!) is that many children begin to better recognize their own internal weaknesses around 10 so that’s a good time to really bring up Law and Gospel concepts. For me, I’ll bring it up earlier but try to have reasonable expectations for my little sinner-saints.

Happy reading and writing!

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