Thursday, October 15, 2009

Being Like a Child Does Not Mean Perpetual Intellectual Toddlerhood

(Manhattan, Nov. 2008)

In Matthew 18:3 Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Part of this is one of those upside-down-kingdom things, since children approached to lower levels of human expendability. To understand Jesus one must give up all self-pretension and all self-aggrandization. It's instructive to note that this does not mean that one remains, mentally, as a toddler.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, writes:

"Because Christ said we could only get into His world by being like children, many Christians have the idea that, provided you are 'good', it does not matter being a fool... Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only 'as harmless as doves', but also 'as wise as serpents'. He wants a child's heart, but a grown-up's head."