Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

[XTalk] Like a child

Expand Messages
  • Michael Grondin
    In looking over the interpretations that have been offered of the gospel admonitions to become like a child , I was rather surprised not to see any that
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 2, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      In looking over the interpretations that have been offered of the gospel
      admonitions to "become like a child", I was rather surprised not to see any
      that coincide with my own, which I had thought was rather mainstream. So
      I'd like to survey those other interpretations, then give my own.

      Jeffrey describes Ambrozic's position in two ways: (1) being at the bottom
      of the "honor/shame" scale, and (2) being without political or social
      rights. Without having read Ambrozic myself, I must say that neither of
      these strike me as being particularly convincing. There's no indication
      that I can see that the notion of shame enters into it, and as for not
      having political or social rights, I would think that most Xians fell into
      that category without having to be told to do so. Yet the admonition is for
      Xians, so I don't think that this will do.

      Jan suggests that to be childlike is to be most readily accepting of a
      "free lunch", as he puts it. But the point of the banquet parable is not
      that the rich and wealthy can't bring themselves to accept unearned
      goodies, but that they're too busy with their own worldly concerns. Those
      who end up going to the banquet are "street people", one might say. So to
      make his reasoning work, Jan has to equate being poor with being childlike.
      This won't do, IMO.

      Mahlon connects being childlike with the belief that if you ask, it will be
      given to you. This comes closest to my own view, which involves naivite
      (esp naive belief that what you want will magically come to you, i.e., God
      as Santa Claus), but also innocence of the distinction between good and
      evil, unconcern with worldly affairs, and the willingness to put oneself in
      the position of being taught by others, by recognizing one's lack of
      knowledge with respect to Xianity. All of these ideas are suggested, I
      think, by the admonitions to become like a child, different aspects being
      stressed in different contexts.

      Regards,
      Mike

      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
    • Austin Meredith
      ... Bear in mind that within the cultural tradition within which Jesus was working, the paradigmatic child is the only one to be allowed to speak in his own
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 2, 1999
      • 0 Attachment
        Michael Grondin wrote:
        >
        > Mahlon connects being childlike with the belief that if you ask, it will be
        > given to you. This comes closest to my own view, which involves naivite
        > (esp naive belief that what you want will magically come to you, i.e., God
        > as Santa Claus), but also innocence of the distinction between good and
        > evil, unconcern with worldly affairs, and the willingness to put oneself in
        > the position of being taught by others, by recognizing one's lack of
        > knowledge with respect to Xianity. All of these ideas are suggested, I
        > think, by the admonitions to become like a child, different aspects being
        > stressed in different contexts.


        Bear in mind that within the cultural tradition within which Jesus was
        working,
        the paradigmatic child is the only one to be allowed to speak in his own voice
        in the Scripture. Isaac was not only the little child, he was also the Knight
        of Faith. Crazy old Abraham had the knife and was going to cut his throat and
        it seems from what he asked his dad that he suspected that something like that
        was in the works. --Yet he followed his dad, carrying the firewood, up the
        mountain toward their sacrifice. Be as _that_ child and you _will_ come into
        the Kingdom of Heaven.

        \s\ Austin Meredith <Kouroo@...>, "Stack of the Artist of Kouroo" Project
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.