Friday, November 9, 2012

Your Child's Profession of Faith (Book review)

TOS Review Crew members were sent a selection of books to review from Grace & Truth Books books. There were 10 books or sets of books, fictional selections as well as a number of "relational" and "parenting" helps ~ a large variety, so be sure to check them ALL out (click the banner at the bottom of my post to see more)!

I received a book for parents: Your Child's Profession of Faith by Dennis Gundersen. "If a small child tells us he thinks he's saved, do we take his words at face value? How do we test his profession, especially without seeming to doubt the child and discourage him?"

As a very young "Convert" myself (Preacher's kid) married to another young convert (also a Preacher's Kid), raising our children in church, with AWANA and various Bible studies, and stories for the younger ages (and seeing young conversions in our children), I didn't know what to expect from this book, but was curious to see where Pastor Gundersen would go with this.

The first chapter ends by summing up the intent of the book: "This book is all about taking time, in their younger, tender years, to cultivate their profession of faith into something mature and well-founded that they will not later look back on with doubts and fears, wondering if it was genuine after all. Or worse: having a disingenuous profession which they never doubt at all."

Throughout the rest of the book I felt like I was reading something of a mixed message~ "Yes, young children can come to a pure profession of faith in Jesus and a confession of Salvation." BUT "Children coming to faith is never directly mentioned in the New Testament." AND "Jesus uses terms to describe commitment to him that children cannot understand, and therefore cannot commit to" (I'm paraphrasing a bit on that). My perception is that regardless of age, a commitment is made on the level the person is at, and it grows as their understanding grows.

Given the title of the book, and even the description, I was taken by surprise as I read. The majority of the chapters (3-9) focused on the appropriateness of child baptism after a confession of faith.  Chapters 3-6 were recommendations not to baptize a child prematurely, and Chapters 7-9 dealt more with determining whether a child has really committed, and at what point baptism is appropriate.

While I agree with much of what was written, I found it somewhat troubling that there seemed to be such a great emphasis on the changeableness and instability of children, with numerous Scriptures quoted to back that up, but I didn't see a balance of the Scriptures that speak of the child-like faith,  or mention of Timothy, who was taught as a child, and a reminder that "For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven," or even the fact that God called Samuel to serve Him at a very young age.

I think there are a number of very good points presented, that are worth considering (especially if you are concerned about peer pressure, or in the case of a pastor, parent pressure). I particularly thought the last bit of the book was useful~ it has some very helpful "Interview" questions that help to nail down exactly where a child stands and whether a child is ready for baptism. It finishes with the first 3 chapters of Andrew Murray's book from the 19th Century "The Children for Christ."

Final analysis~ most helpful for those who work with children in larger churches or groups who might run into overzealous parents, or see children who are more likely to suffer from peer pressure.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 

Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this, or one of the other 9 products reviewed from Grace and Truth Books. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.
Disclaimer: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Review Crew Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. This would be a great book for my church group kids! thanks!


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