Those of us who have written, in the last few years, about childhood from a theological perspective, recognize that a long time before any of us -and when almost no theologian, nor Protestant Bible scholar even mentioned the question in Latin America and the Caribbean-, Edesio Sánchez Cetina was already doing so by combining those virtues that few of us can pull together: biblical wisdom (he is a recognized Bible translator), theological depth (he is an accredited theology teacher in dozens of theological institutions) and pastoral sensitivity (I have enjoyed his pastoral warmth in the local church in San José, Costa Rica, where he congregates with his family).
Edesio, moved by vocational reasons and perhaps also for familiar reasons (he was a first time father) began to think about the meaning of the prophetic allusions to childhood (the prophet Isaiah, for example), the meaning of the small Zaccheus (Luke 19) and the narratives about Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5) in order to discover in them the childlike logic that is, according to him, the logic of the Kingdom of God. And thus, with the skill of a master, he continued to travel through the biblical narratives meeting with its boys and girls. There were more than those that we knew, they said more than we had thought and they occupied a place that was unknown within the History of Salvation. He found, and guided us towards them, Samuel and another boy, David, who were chosen by the Lord at a time in which the adult kings and elders had converted Israel into a catastrophe (1 Samuel). Many other biblical texts followed afterwards. And, as though that were not enough, he invited us to discover God’s self as a child, as a great playful God, who makes fun of the powerful and makes jokes about political and religious authorities who, under the pretext of being memorable adults, abuse their people. This playful God laughs at them and dissents from their pettiness. God prefers the nobility of those who know nothing about power. God chooses the little Samuel, the helpless David or the prophet Elisha who, as a figure of a child (you will read about it in the chapters of this book), does not allow himself to be dazzled by the gold or the power represented by Naaman (2 Kings).
These readings (or better yet, re-readings) make clear God’s preferencial choice for the little people. And these are the readings that provide a solid basis to the theology of childhood —a biblical theology of childhood of which, in my knowledge and understanding, Edesio is the patriarch (said with some humor: he is not so because of his age, but rather because of his knowledge)— and unveil the hidden face of the Lord: playful, poetic, restless, daring and tender, just as the very Jesus revealed God, a glutton and a drinker of wine, according to the Pharisees, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19).
From the Preface of HAROLD SEGURA (Latin American theologian and pastor, Director in World Vision Latin America and the Caribbean)
Publication language: Spanish
Translation of the title into English: THE KINGDOM AND CHILDHOOD: A Biblical Journey between Faith, Childhood and Youth.
The English translation of this book will be published on December 6, 2019, by JUANUNO1 BOOKS, under the title: Not Suitable for Adults!