We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed
- ISBN: 978-1596381353
- Pages: 240
- Price: £6.14
I well remember my reaction to receiving this book for review. Breaking open the packet, I muttered, ‘Not another book on parenting!’ Whether review editors think that having brought up five children makes one an expert on parenting, I don’t know. Worse still is the fear that anyone could attribute the eventual conversion of our children to some special talent in child-rearing. In truth, only mysterious, mind-blowing grace can account for such a wonder.
Generally, reviewing such books is a painful task, for they expose one’s shortcomings as a dad, and usually disappoint with their failure to face adequately the radical sinfulness of children and their paramount need for the new birth. Accordingly, I passed on the book to my wife to read, hoping she would review it instead!
However, Sue read it with growing enthusiasm and then returned it — nervously offering to her opinionated husband the assessment that it is a wonderfully helpful book. And how right she is, as ever!
This is quite simply the finest book I have ever read on parenting. It gives hope as well as direction, focusing all the time on the gospel, which both Christian parents and their children urgently need. It strengthens despairing parents by conveying the conviction that if we put God first in our child-rearing, and live honest, gospel-dependent lives, we can look to him for results in the lives of our youngsters.
There is real practical wisdom here, the undiluted wisdom of God’s Word. It presses the importance of a vivid understanding of the gospel, and the need for a life of godliness and prayer; of loving God above our children; of the key place of the father’s in bringing up children; of gospel-centred and physical discipline; and of humility, honesty and affection with our youngsters.
True, one could have small quibbles about things the book says, but overall it is magnificent, and worthy of the widest readership.