8.09.2007

From Infancy Onward

"Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust at my mother's breasts. On you I was cast from my birth, and from my mother's womby you have been my God."-Psalm 22:9,10

"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you." -Psalm 71:5,6

In his book, Paedofaith, Rich Lusk writes:
The Psalter treats infant trust not as a sporadic, occasional, or unpredictable reality, but as the norm in covenant children. God gives us believing children to work with and nurture. In this way, covenant children are a blessing and reward from the Lord. As we help them grow to mature faith, we fulfill the purpose of the cross-generational covenant promises. The psalmist has many remarkably deep, vivid, datable, and narratable experiences of God's grace, but he still maintains he was a believer from infancy; he trusted in God and knew Him from the very beginning of life. In this way, the Psalter norms Christian experience for the child growing up in a Christian environment. The experience of the psalmist should be the experience of our offspring. Our children belong to Christian homes and, like David, should learn to regard themselves as believers from infancy onward, not necessarily on the basis of experience, but as a corollary of the covenant promises.

9 comments:

morgan said...

hey i have a prayer request for something that been going on in the youth group for a while between me and 1 ppl. everytime ive tried tlking to them about what happened neither of them wanna tlk and i finally was able to tlk to one of them sun. night but i had to leave and b4 that she didnt seem to wanna b friends again but whats really bothering me about the whole situation id that im trying and theyre not. i tlkd to them a few months about it and said i will try to tlk to yall more b/c thats what was causing the prob. then wenever i did tlk to them it either seemed they didnt wanna tlk or it was just really akward to b around them b/c they were so focused on each other. so yeah if yall could just pray about it it would be greatly appreciated

morgan said...

ahha it 2 pp instead of one obviously.... :)

Patrick said...

Psalm 51:5 (ESV)
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.


also a psalm of David. Now reconcile this with Luskun

Toby said...

Hey Eric,

Great to "meet" you! What days will you be on campus this Fall?

I'll be there on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Peace,

Toby Sumpter

Toby said...

BTW, I think Lusk's book is great. It put a number of things together for me.

I look forward to talking more.

TJS

Eric M. Ashley said...

Patrick:

You'll have to explain where you see a conflict beween Psalm 51 and the Lusk quote. I just don't see it. Granted, I have read the surrounding context. So, what problem do you see?

In regard to Psalm 51 and Psalm 22...

I do not see a conflict and neither did David. David clearly knows that He is and always has been a sinner, from the moment he was "brought forth." And his awareness of his utter sinfulness is also what drives him to the LORD. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me...restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit" (Ps. 51:10,12). But David is also aware that God has been his God from his mother's womb (Ps. 22:9,10; 71:5). His trust has been in God for all of his life.

David's testimony should make us question so of our assumptions regarding parenting. In the church tradition that I was raised, if someone asked you about how you came to know the Lord, you were expected to talk about some type of "Damascus Road" experience. You needed to be able to remember the date, time, place, and circumstances regarding your conversion. If you couldn't, then it was assumed that you weren't really a Christian.

David's words point to a different paradigm for understanding our experience. It is a covenant nurture model that stands in contrast to the revival model. We can show the contrast between these paradigms by asking a simple question: Regarding our children, should we disciple or evangelize them? Both discipleship and evangelism contain gospel proclaimation that calls out for our children to repent and believe, but the evangelism model treats our children as though they have no special promises or priveledges. To me, that seems more Baptist than biblical.

Eric M. Ashley said...

Granted, not all covenant children will have David's experience. Some will exho David's words (I place myself in this category.) Some will turn away and later return to the Lord. Some will turn away and never return.

And of course, we should expect more dramatic converstion stories from those who were outside the church (like my wife's story). But we shouldn't make those experiences the norm or mark of true conversion.

Eric M. Ashley said...

Toby:

This will be my first semester, and I'm only taking a couple of classes. I'll be on campus from about 8 to 4 on Wednesday's. See you later.

Eric M. Ashley said...

I came across another quote from Lusk that I'll throw in the mix:

"Thus far, we have argued for the normality of paedofaith in covenant children. From the point of conception onward, covenant children are sinners, indeed, but sinners who have a trusting relationship with their heavenly Father. God's promises are theirs, and their hope is in the Lord."

Notice he says that he is arguing for the "normality of paedofaith." There are ,of course,expections and qualifications to be made.