Your Child's Profession of Faith - by Gunderson, Dennis
New York: Calvary Press, 1994. 57 pp.
Reviewed by Louise Essex, wife of TMS professor, Dr. Keith Essex
Can children be converted at a young age? How young? What constitutes a genuine conversion? Does praying the words of a “sinner’s prayer” save a child? Answers to these and other questions require careful thought. Too much is at stake to be casual. Your Child’s Profession of Faith can help parents and children’s workers think biblically about the issues involved in guiding children to saving faith in Christ.
Dennis Gunderson believes children can be converted at a young age, however, he thinks we cannot know with certainty that they are converted at an early age. The author guides readers to an understanding of this statement by examining:
The intellectual immaturity of children The changeableness and instability of children The likelihood of deception in children The years of childhood as a time for patient cultivationWhile keeping in mind these and other cautions, Gunderson clearly believes that parents ought to exhort children, “with all our hearts, to come to Christ, and at an early age. It is crucial that they may and ought now to come to Christ.” He challenges parents about their commitment to each child’s salvation with questions such as, “Are you teaching your children about the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you urging them to know the Lord?” In spite of parental diligence, he states that “nearly everything about recognizing a valid profession of faith is very difficult to ascertain with certainty in children.” Gunderson concludes by advising against haste, while also urging parents to take advantage of the long term opportunities they have to talk with their children about salvation. This book is a must read for all parents and children’s workers.
Another recommended resource to help with bringing children to faith in Christ as well as other parenting issues is: What the Bible Says About Parenting by John MacArthur. Thomas Nelson, 2000. 256 pp.