The New Christians

The New Christians

Beck Responds to DeRose

Over at Experimental Theology, Richard Beck has responded to Keith DeRose’s post, “Really Believing in Hell.”

Money Quote:

Going back to Keith’s post, my hunch is that hell is most terrifying
for children in the Concrete Operations stage. In this stage children
have the concrete, logical ability to work out the calculus of
salvation and damnation. Abstractions such as grace are beyond them,
cognitively speaking. A concrete punishment/reward calculus better
suits the cognitive stage they are in. And by doing the theological
math unattenuated by abstractions such as grace most Concrete
Operational children conclude they are doomed to hell.

Nota bene to children’s and youth pastors: read the post and read Piaget.

Comments read comments(1)
post a comment

posted January 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I’ve read Piaget. And a host of others. I was the Mother of a “gifted” child. A prodigy, actually.
My once four-year-old once asked eighteen different priests/preachers/elders “Did God create evil?” Only one had an answer for her. And, no, we had nt prompted her. She had come up with this one on her own. Cognitive ability, logic, reason, et al are often found in infants…much to their parents initial delight, pride…and dismay.
Not all kids are the same. The extremely sensitive child is abused by the concrete notion of a fire-and-brimstone hell (and the Protestant insistence that you are going there, do not pass go, do not collect $200. unless you Roman Road it) and we do them a great violence by teaching them such (with spurious images of things unseen… now which commandment was it that asked us not to make such images???)… And this sensitivity waxes and wanes as the child grows and changes. Many parents miss it.
Children can understand Grace, It depends on how it is taught, modeled, fostered, shown. I’ve raised 2 children and I’m the GrandMother of three Boys. I interact with them almost daily. Showing them Grace is something they actually get from the time they are very, very little.
Kids are smarter than you think. Why else would Jesus welcome them and bless them and tell US to be as they are in faith?
I do not deny the existence of hell, but I would rather my Little Ones concentrate on the existence of God and their need of Him and His Grace; that they are born into His Covenant Family; baptised into His Church; and that He sent His Son to defeat sin and death so that they could have right relationship with Him. There is plenty of time to talk about sin and the personalness of that in their lives. Later.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

My Blog Has Moved
Dear Readers, After a year with Beliefnet, I've decided to move to my own domain for my blogging.  It's been a fine year -- some things worked, other things didn't.  But in the end, I'll be a better blogger on my own.  My thanks to the ...

posted 12:13:57pm Nov. 13, 2009 | read full post »

The Most Important Cartoon of the Year
By Steve Breen, San Diego Tribune, October 18, 2009 ...

posted 8:51:22am Oct. 25, 2009 | read full post »

Social Media for Pastors
Following up on Christianity21, we at JoPa Productions are developing a series of boot camps for pastors who want to learn about and utilize social media tools like blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.  These are one-day, hands-on learning ...

posted 10:45:52am Oct. 22, 2009 | read full post »

Ending Christian Euphemisms: "Fundamentalist"
I've taken some heat in the comment section for using yesterday's post on "unbiblical" and a "higher view of scripture" as a thin foil for my own disregard of biblical standards. To the contrary, I was pointing to the use of the word unbiblical ...

posted 10:15:41am Oct. 21, 2009 | read full post »

Why You Should Get GENERATE
Last week at Christianity21, GENERATE Magazine debuted. With the tag line, "an artifact of the emergence conversation," it fit perfectly at the gathering. When I actually got around to reading it last weekend, I was truly surprised at how good ...

posted 3:14:37pm Oct. 20, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.