Sunday, January 01, 2006

Saving faith is not blind faith. Not Even for Kids.

In is book Successful Christian Parenting, John MacArthur offers advise for teaching the gospel to one’s own children. Parents should be thorough, being careful not to soften or shorten the gospel for their children. Simplistic evangelism formulas should be avoided. These often leave out important information. He writes:

“Real faith involves understanding and affirming some important concepts that may be out of reach for small children. The sole object of genuine faith is Jesus Christ as He is presented to us in the gospel. How can children exercise true saving faith before they are old enough to understand and affirm essential, objective elements of gospel truth? Saving faith is not blind faith. Real saving faith cannot be ignorant of essential gospel concepts such as good and evil, sin and punishment, repentance and faith, God’s holiness and His wrath against sin, Christ as God incarnate, the idea of atonement for sin and the meaning of the resurrection and the lordship of Christ. The specific age at which the child’s understanding is mature enough to grasp such concepts may differ for each child. (So there’s no reliable way to pinpoint a physical “age of accountability.”) But until the child demonstrates some degree of real understanding and some measure of spiritual fruit, parents should not be quick to regard the child’s regeneration as a settled matter.” (MacArthur, Successful Christian Parenting, 998, 50.)

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