22 August 2013

Law and Gospel, 1

My journey into learning about law and gospel began with parenting questions.

I remember reading Give Them Grace, and a line in there asking how a Christian's parenting is distinctly Christian. Jews, Muslims and Mormons can produce morally straight children, and if a Christian has merely the same goal, "good" kids, then what really is Christian about it? The book's answer is that parenting can be made distinctly Christian with grace.

Thinking through this naturally led me to consider all the rules we place on our kids. We have so many rules when I stop and think about it. Just look at table manners: sit straight, sit still, eat over your plate, chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth, keep your hair off your plate, keep your hands to yourself, don't touch anything until you've washed your hands, on and on. And so I asked myself, what is Christian about rules? Isn't Christianity about grace and the gospel? A free gift apart from works? So to make my parenting distinctly Christian, I suppose we should get rid of all the rules.

Yet I knew something wasn't right about that conclusion. For the record, Give Them Grace didn't draw that conclusion, but neither did it give me a satisfying reason. Having heard something of "law and gospel" from White Horse Inn, I turned there for answers.

To be continued...

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