Die Kinder als Erben der Verheissung betrachten

Bavinck beschreibt die pietistische Sicht von Kindern aus christlichen Elternhäusern:

Children were considered unregenerate and unconverted and therefore sinners and children of wrath. The preaching, catechetical instruction (insofar as it still existed), Sunday school, revival meetings, indeed even the regular instruction given at home and in the schools—it all had to be made subservient to the [goal of] conversion and deliverance.

Diese Zuteilung hatte historisch gesehen seine Berechtigung:

This whole movement was in part fueled by a legitimate and healthy reaction to the indifference and lukewarmness of the established churches. But the moment it converted its protest into a system, it became seriously one-sided.

Diese Einseitigkeit hatte fatale Auswirkungen:

It proceeded from distrust toward God’s promise, denying the truth of the covenant of grace and weakening the meaning of baptism. It closed its eyes to the power of tradition, to the constant quiet work of the Christian family, to the mysterious inner working of God’s Spirit in the heart. It robbed the school and education in general of their independence and gave to the upbringing of children an unnatural character, making them anxious, fearful, and nervously introspective. It focused completely on a sudden crisis, an intense wave of emotion, a conscious turnaround, and made it appear as if one were saved “by conversion rather than by Christ.” Against all these exaggerations and one-sidednesses, the Christian view of the children of believers—as it is expressed in the covenant of grace, in the practice of infant baptism, in catechetical instruction, and in admission to the Lord’s Supper—retains its incontrovertible validity. The children of believers are to be regarded and treated as heirs of the promise until the contrary is clearly demonstrated by their “talk” and “walk.”

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, 4:154-155

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