“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
When it comes to autonomy, I believe that nothing is more critical than critical thinking. God has not asked us to park our brains when we take up faith in Him. On the contrary, the more I dig deeper into His Word, the more sensible everything–and I mean everything–becomes.
World History, Science, Mathematics, Literature, Anthropology, Current Events, World Religions, Psychology–every bit of it fits together with scripture like a tight truth puzzle, because that’s exactly what it is.
For our children though, they are back at the beginning of trying to discern what truth is and who they should believe is telling them the truth about life and the world. In the midst of being raised in church, there were many years of faith struggles for me and many of my peers. Teen years especially when the school curriculum delved more deeply into the world at large.
During this time, it was critical to develop critical thinking that was founded in the Word of God…the very thing I was questioning. So more critical than that, was that there were Godly men and women that I could ask my questions to–who had answers or who directed me into scriptures for answers. It was important that I learned it was ok to ask questions. Unlike some people, God’s not afraid of them. [By the way, all truth is God’s truth, so He is more than prepared to answer anything you or I can throw His way.]
The bottom line is that if we hope our children will become spiritually autonomous one day, then they need to be able to: 1) ask their questions of the Word of God, 2) know how to discern the answers, and 3) have fellowship with firmly grounded believers who can also guide them to answers.