Two Hundred Questions a Day

Childlike faith keeps probing, sometimes impolitely. /

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)

Before I had kids of my own, this passage often conjured images of Precious Moments figurines or a calendar of baby pictures. Sometimes we read this verse and think Jesus meant that to encounter the kingdom, we must reduce our spiritual lives to simple recitations of faith and embrace the unquestioning trust of a child. But ever since my first child was born five years ago, she has served as an iconoclast to that interpretation. An informal estimate put a child’s questions above 200 a day—to one parent alone. It goes without saying: “unquestioning” is the last word most parents would use to describe their children.

“Did God love Goliath?” my daughter once asked. This one question forays into the heart of many centuries-long theological debates. In just four words, it touches on human value, the use of violence, God’s sovereignty. As my daughter encounters God’s unconditional love, she has endless questions of what, exactly, that could mean. If his love really is a “wonderful, never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love” (as The Jesus Storybook Bible says), then a million questions follow. For my daughter, one big question is, “How did Jesus feel when Gaston died in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?”

Not just sponges

Child psychiatrist Robert Coles reported that of all his endeavors, studying the spiritual lives of children was the most difficult to find support for. After 30 years of work with children, he had written books on politics, morality, fear, and resilience in the lives of children, but ...

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Also in this Issue

Issue 37 / December 10, 2015
  1. Editor's Note from December 10, 2015

    Issue 37: Children question God, how you beat your DNA, and keeping Creation together. /

  2. Born to Be Wild?

    Maybe not. Just because something is written in our genetic code doesn’t mean our body will read it. /

  3. The Creator Is Closer

    I too often forget that God sustains all he has made. /

  4. Ode to an Encyclopedia

    “Questing Beast of blue and gold, you were my companion” /

  5. Wonder on the Web

    Issue 37: Links to amazing stuff.

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