Will Our Children Have Faith?


book
by John H. Westerhoff III. Morehouse Publishing Co., 2012.

Originally published in 1976, now in its third edition, Westerhoff’s classic text remains an insightful and useful critique of Christian education. The core thesis of the book is that everything persons, especially children, experience in congregational life is a feature of Christian education. And the church should be intentional about it. Instead, the secular classroom has become the model for Christian education. This should only be a small part. True Christian education is a socialization process involving deliberate, systematic and sustained effort to transmit knowledge, attitudes, values, behaviors or sensibilities. Christian education is both taught and caught. Strong connections and faith-sharing among the people of the church is vitally important. As is family Christian practice. Westerhoff also urges consideration of various learning styles in Christian formation as they impact a child’s interest and ability to absorb Christian values. Of particular interest in this work is the style of the revision. The original text is maintained, but added revisions follow immediately. This makes it possible to see how Westerhoff’s mind has changed during the years he served as professor at Duke Divinity School.

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