Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review of Horace Bushnell's "Christian Nurture" (1847)


"We have been expecting to thrive too much by conquest, and too little by growth."
--Horace Bushnell

By the early 1800s an individualistic conception of conversion had taken root in the American Christian mind, a conception which mentally severed children of believing parents from the Kingdom of Christ--at least until a visible conversion could take place. As a result, children of believing parents were seen as objects of evangelization, instead of Christ's disciples. En masse, parents began to walk by sight, not by faith. The Kingdom would suffer.

By the mid 1970s, with the enabling of "the pill" and credit legislation that extended easy credit to husbands and wives jointly, a definitive choice was made by a majority of parents to abandon the home as an incubator and bootcamp for developing soldiers of Christ. Sheetrock and a new Chevy displaced a "godly seed" and became the new anticipated kingdom of God on earth. Today, the Church plows ahead with evangelism, hoping to outpace the crumble rate of member marriages and families by continuously adding new blood.

Christ declared the Kingdom that He would build would continuously progress and endure forever--it was goin' global. As the prophet Daniel foretold: "...the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth." Toward this amazing and optimistic Gospel end, Horace Bushnell's "Christian Nurture" is nuclear war, laying out a solid Scriptural argument for the priority of Gospel procreation and family-based discipleship. This is a must read for all enthusiasts of Christ's Kingdom!