Stooping to Greatness: Ministering to Children in Jesus' Name

Hymn number 559 in Trinity Hymnal ("Father, I Know That All My Life") is a favorite of mine. The blend of lyrics and melody is wonderful. Verses 2 and 3 are as follows: I would not have the restless will That hurries to and fro, Seeking for some great thing to do, Or secret thing to know; I would be treated as a child, And guided where I go. I ask thee for the daily strength, To none that ask denied, A mind to blend with outward life, While keeping at thy side, Content to fill a little space, If thou be glorified. In these verses, the author is not praying for mediocrity ("content to fill a little space"). Instead, the author recognizes that greatness in God's kingdom is often achieved by being faithful in the little things that God gives us to do daily. The main point of the hymn is this: Lord, as long as you are glorified, I will do any deeds, big or small. Now, that's greatness! Let's be honest: all of us desire greatness in life. As children, we dream of hitting a home run in the ninth inning ... Read more

Television and the Home

Of our children, the Bible says, "Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). This verse is one with which we are all familiar, and applications of this commandment to parents are not hard to come by. One aspect of this commandment is that parents should help their children to reject the ways of the world and lead a holy life. This is what concerns us in the present discussion. This mandate requires oversight and discernment on such matters as wearing certain clothes, listening to certain music, and choosing playmates or friends to "hang out with." The ultimate goal is to train our young people so that they will maintain a Christian lifestyle when they are no longer under the direct influence of the home. This type of parental authority should not be dismissed as unnecessary when it comes to the matter of viewing television. Many works have been written on the subject of TV and its immediate problems, but consideration of the power and effects of television is rare. ... Read more

So, You Want to Have Sharp Kids!

The Bible indicates that children are extremely important. Do you remember the time when Jesus overruled his disciples and insisted that the children be brought to him, saying, "The kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Mark 10:14)? With that statement, Jesus expressed a very important truth found throughout the Old Testament. The people of Israel were required to bring their little ones together so that the Word of God could be heard by the entire nation. Joshua convened an assembly in which even the little ones heard God's Law (Josh. 8:35). When we talk about children, we must begin by talking about the home, where they are influenced at the earliest stages of their development. We know that the first four years of life are extremely formative in a child's life. A child who has difficult and contradictory experiences during those years will often be scarred for life. That is not to say, of course, that the grace of God cannot overcome those wounds. But it is to acknowledge their existence. ... Read more

Abraham Kuyper: A Christian Worldview

It has been a hundred years since Abraham Kuyper came to America to deliver his famous Stone Lectures on the subject of Calvinism at Princeton Theological Seminary. Those on campus at that time included Professors B. B. Warfield and Francis L. Patton (who was also President of Princeton University); future U.S. President Woodrow Wilson taught political science at Princeton University. Those not yet on campus, but who would later be influenced by Kuyper, included J. Gresham Machen, 17, of Baltimore, and Cornelius Van Til, 3, of Grotegast, Groningen province, the Netherlands. Kuyper's great contribution at Princeton a century ago, which is still relevant today, is the fact that the Christian faith is both for salvation and for the rest of life. He was sobered by the total challenge of secularist unbelief that had been unleashed on Christendom by the French Revolution of 1789. In contrast to that, Kuyper articulated a powerful apologetic or a Christian worldview. Later this worldview greatly influenced ... Read more