Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Teaching Children

Are we raising our children to be little moralists? If we look at what is commonly taught children, most of it consists of commandments. Now there is a place in the Christian life for the teaching of how we should live. But this must be done in the context of God's truth and God's grace. If not, we are guilty of teaching only law, and law without grace is always destructive (2 Corinthians 3:5,6; Romans 7:7-13; Galatians 3:10-14). Now there moralistic teaching, and it is often hard to find ones that emphasize grace. (There can be the same problem with adult curricula, but it is easier with adults to ignore the standard curricula and take another approach.) It can be difficult to find curricula that are grace-oriented, but the attempt must be made. I am cynical of George Barna's claim we are losing our children. Rodney Stark has put up serious challenges to this claim. But to the extent we are, the probable culprit is that we teaching them moralistic platitudes rather than Christian truth.

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