Monday, November 1, 2010

Childish vs. Childlike Faith

Why do we believe that the growth and development of one's faith is so important? For a thousand years, Christian theologians have emphasized the difference between a "child-like" faith (much to be desired) and a "childish" faith. Only the child-like faith quality can truly be strong.

Walter Rauschenbush puts it very well.

"The religion of childhood will not satisfy adolescent youth, and the religion of youth ought not to satisfy a mature man or woman. Our soul must build statelier mansions for itself. Religion must continue to answer all our present needs and inspire all our present functions. A person who has failed to adjust his religion to his growing powers and his intellectual horizon, has failed in one of the most important functions of growth, just as if his cranium failed to expand and to give room to his brain. Being microcephalous [having an abnormally tiny head] is a misfortune, and nothing to boast of."

Walter Rauschenbush, "The Social principles of Jesus" in The World Treasure of Modern Religious Thought, Little, Brown & Co., 1990, pp. 588-589.

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