Monday, July 13, 2009

Theology with kids

Nate Kerr left this comment on Ben Myers Faith and Theology, after Ben's daughter had expressed concern for the ram Abraham killed instead of Isaac.

"At four, they display concern for the goats. At five (almost six), they go straight to arguing with you vehemently about core theologoumena. Case in point: The other day I was driving in the car with Zoe in the backseat and we were discussing "the greatest commandment" (which we had read about the previous night). This conversation ensued:

Zoe: "So, Daddy, God tells us to love him and to love each other, right?" [There was a digression here as to whether or God was or was not a "he." Her solution: He is and he isn't.]

Me: "Yes."

Zoe: "At the same time?"

Me: "Yes. In loving one another we are loving God."

Zoe: "So does that mean we're supposed to love everybody? How do we do that?"

Me: "Well, because God is love; God loves everybody, and so if we love God when we love each other, that is how we are loving everybody -- by just loving the people we see every day."

[And here is where it goes off the rails.]

Zoe: "Daddy! GOD IS NOT LOVE."

Me: "What do you mean God is not love."

Zoe: "Because God has a body. You know, Jesus! God loves us through Jesus, but God is NOT love!"

Me: "Well, it is because of Jesus that we can say that God both is love and that God loves us."

Zoe: "Daddy! Argghh. You just don't get it! God has a body. God is NOT love. God loves us THROUGH his body. Just like we love through our bodies. But we're not love. So God is NOT love."

Me: "But that's the whole point. We are only able to love through our bodies because love itself took on a body like ours in Jesus."

Zoe: "Arrghh...Daddy, I'm trying to understand. You know about these things because you read the bible. But the bible tells us that Jesus loves us and that Jesus is God and he had a body. So God CANNOT be love. Tell me how God can is love."

Me: "Well, the bible tells us that God is love."

Zoe: "Where? Show me when we get home."

About 10 minutes later we arrived home and I read her 1 John 3:7ff. At around v. 13 she stopped me and said:

Zoe: "Oh, I get it! It's because of the Holy Spirit!"

Me: "Yes! Exactly!"

Zoe: "Well why didn't you tell me that in the car? I wouldn't have had to yell at you then!"

1 comment:

Mike Bull said...

Now that is a classic.

Thanks for the link to my blog here. Could you update it to: ?

And you guys need to post more often!