Al Mohler invites Bruce Ware onto his radio program. Ware has written a book that encourages and guides parents in teaching their children systematic theology, called Big Truth for Young Hearts. Mohler and Ware have a very enlightening conversation about Ware’s conviction and practice of teaching children systematic theology. Al observes this is one of those books that is unusual in the market, and when you see it you can’t believe there aren’t more like it. Mohler and Ware talk about the need for adults to give more credit to the ability of children to learn challenging theological concepts rather than watering them down to moralities.
Here’s the sermon that often doesn’t get Paul Washer invited back. And no, it’s not because he’s boring. Washer preaches with clarity and passion. The reason Washer has caused such an uproar in some places is because he makes a frontal attack on some of Evangelicalism’s most sacred cows: Assurance of Salvation, and sincerity in “making a decision” for Christ.
Washer pulls no punches. Nor does he just attack for the sake of attack. He attacks these forms of Evangelical religion like a surgeon attacking a cancer. He dissects and explains.
Washer rails against how Evangelicals are so quick to proclaim people ‘believers’. One of the most damnable practices in the church is when a person doubts their salvation, they are usually taken back to that day when they “made a decision” for Christ and “asked Jesus into their hearts”, neither of which are statements found in Scripture (apart from a poor hermeneutic). We are often guilty of giving people a false assurance that is based more on the ‘sincerity’ of their decision than on the presence of a transformed life. Washer claims this tactic sends countless people to hell. At the very point that a person may be coming to Christ with a legitimate doubt about salvation, we kill off that work with a sloppy proclaimation of false salvation.
Washer broadsides contemporary evangelistic practices, including child evangelism and Sunday School programs. He says he would not put his children in 80% of the Sunday school programs, because the gospel presentations we give to children are so seriously distorted they border on heresy.
This message needs to be preached to every church in America. The congregations response would serve as a good litmus test of spiritual health.
David Michael of Children Desiring God brought a very timely message for parents and Children’s ministry leaders. Michaels provides a sober look at what should be the operating principle of any children’s ministry, and that is primarily to teach parents how to be godly parents. We need to hear these kinds of messages over and over because we so easily forget the foundation God laid for ministry inside the family.
One thing Michaels said that stood out (just to whet your appetite) is that children should be taught to remain in the entire worship service beginning at age 4. If we don’t, then we are training little Johnny to check out mentally everytime the preacher stands up to preach. Michaels relates methods that help the child to pay attention, and gives testimony to the success he has seen at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
A great message that you have to hear if you are a parent.
The excellent ministry Children Desiring God has posted all the audio for free from their 2005 and 2007 conferences. I have not yet listened to these, but they are going on my ipods playlist.
The ministry of Children Desiring God is aimed at calling for higher standards of teaching in a Sunday School market that is glutted with silly, watered down, children’s theology.