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Parenting / Family Archives ~ Aletheia Baptist Ministries Skip to main content

Men and Women in the Church

Men and Women in the Church

by Rick Shrader

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This is a 2021 book by Kevin DeYoung on the role of male and female at home and at church. DeYoung is a traditional complementarian who believes in the leadership of men with the obligation of husbands to love their wives and the followership of wives with the obligation to be submissive. He says, “So what is this book about? In simplest terms, this books is about the divinely designed complementarity of men and women as it applies to life in general and especially to ministry in the church” (p. 15). Also, “If you are among those who are looking for an introductory and non-angsty walk through the requisite biblical texts on men and women in the church, with an eye toward clarification and application, then this might be the book for you” (p. 16). Noteable things covered in the book are: the biblical difference between being made male or female; what “headship” means biblically; how physical appearance should say male or female; a great chapter on what biblical slavery was all about and not about; and why it is important to teach boys and girls to understand that they are boys and girls. DeYoung’s one appendix is given to answering John Dickson’s book, Hearing Her Voice: A Biblical Invitation for Women to Preach. Dickson sees “teaching” in a very narrow light of only transmitting the words of Scripture but not in proclaiming or exhorting. DeYoung does a good job of debunking that thinking. This is a timely book needed for today.

 

Courageous Grandparenting

Courageous Grandparenting

by Rick Shrader

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This 2018 book by Cavin Harper, founder and president of Christian Parenting Network, has been mentioned and recommended by numerous other writers in this subject. The strength of the book is his strong promotion of grandparents as necessary examples and speakers to the younger generations. I thought the best section included grandparents as gatekeepers and story tellers. As gatekeeper, the grandparent is a defender of children and grandchildren from the sins of the world; by story teller the grandparent is one who tells the history of the family and the faith of the family to younger generations. I also appreciated that twice in the book Harper approached the subject of salvation in children though in a very general way. To me, the weakness of the book is the section on giving “blessing” to children though he presents this as a lost spiritual exercise. He says, “The purpose of speaking blessing is to be a conduit of God’s grace so they understand who they are and how precious they are. It affirms their identity as an image-bearer of God” (p. 98-99). He also includes laying on of hands as a way of “confirming His gift of grace” (p. 99). To me, this kind of language sounds apostolic or at least charismatic. I think he simply misuses the word “blessing” when he means something like encouragement. At least that is how he ends up explaining “blessing.” He even admits, “There is no command or instruction in Scripture about how or when to do a spoken blessing.” Also, “For some unknown reason, the Christian community never included it in the teaching of the church for families” (both on p. 108). Telling for sure. But I take that subject as an unfortunate use of terms that shouldn’t spoil the other good things in the book.

 

Grandparenting with a Purpose

Grandparenting with a Purpose

by Rick Shrader

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Of a growing number of books on grandparenting, this is a 2019 book by Lillian Penner which is an update of a 2010 book. This book majors on how to pray for grandchildren. It is more a book of methodology rather than exposition. Penner gives numerous examples of how you might pray for this characteristic or that having to do with your grandchild and contains long lists of suggestions for wording your prayer. Mostly for those who have trouble praying specifically.

 

Grandparenting with Grace

Grandparenting with Grace

by Rick Shrader

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Larry McCall is a graduate of Grace College and Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and now pastors a church in Winona Lake, Indiana. In my reading of books on grandparenting, this was good in the areas of Leading a child to Christ (an area usually avoided or passed over quickly), dealing with divorce within your family, how to be intentional with grandparenting, and leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren. McCall has an easy style of reading and the book is a little over 100 pages. Worth the price.

 

Hopeful Parenting

Hopeful Parenting

by Rick Shrader

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David Jeremiah wrote this book in 2008. As I read it in 2020 I sometimes smile at the amount of change that has taken place in these twelve years and pressure that has been added to families and kids. But I also am thankful for good reminders of eternal truths from God’s Word that do not change over the generations and years. This book is full of personal illustrations and anecdotes and also familiar references to pertinent Sciptures. When describing their first child, he wrote, “When God gives you such a blessing, you become its steward. Ask God to help you put your arms around him or her. Not just parental arms, but grandparental arms too. And the arms of brothers and sisters and uncles and aunts and nephews. Use all those embraces to love that child and guide that child and give that child the best possible opportunity to know God and to love God, and ultimately to bless others.” This is the essence of the book.

 

Overcoming Grandparenting Barriers

Overcoming Grandparenting Barriers

by Rick Shrader

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Larry Fowler is the founder of The Legacy Coalition which is printing this series of books called Grandparenting Matters, edited by Josh Mulvihill.  Fowler was the international director of Awana for many years so he has much to say about kids and those who love them.  This is an interesting book (only about 100 pages) that deals much with how grandparents can help wayward children and grandchildren.  His suggestions are pertinent and realistic.  Many adults in their later years try to deal unsuccessfully with problems which their kids are going through.  “When our kids were young, we held them in our arms.  That stopped as they grew older, but we have never stopped holding them in our hearts.”

 

Long Distance Grandparenting

Long Distance Grandparenting

by Rick Shrader

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This book is one in a series called “Grandparenting Matters,” edited by Josh Mulvihill.  This series belongs to The Legacy Coalition, Larry Fowler, founder.  These are fairly short books, around 100 pages, on various subjects having to do with grandparenting.  This book contains some practical suggestions on grandparents that have the challenge of living distances from their children and grandchildren.  He says, “Distance doesn’t have to be an excuse or an obstacle to good grandparenting.  I know from experience that long-distance grandparents can make a deep and lasting impression that goes on for generations.  And they provide a special kind of love that no one else can duplicate.”  The book is good but is simple in its approach to doing easy things to connect with grandkids.

 

My Grandfather’s Son

My Grandfather’s Son

by Rick Shrader

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This is an autobiography of Justice Clarence Thomas.  It takes his life from birth (1948) to confirmation as Associate Supreme Court Judge.  Thomas grew up poor on the back side of the tracks in the little town of Pinpoint, GA, not far from Savannah.  It was a time of racism and difficulty for black families in the south.  Clarence Thomas hardly knew his father and was raised (and his brother Myers) by his mother.  However, when he was about 7 he and Myers were sent to live with his grandfather and grandmother.  He called his grandfather “Daddy” and his grandmother “Aunt Tina.”  The whole book is dedicated to how his “Daddy” raised him by discipline and hard work.  A few things that might not be known about Judge Thomas is that he originally wanted to be a Catholic Priest but ended up going to Yale law school.  He became personal and life-time friends with MO senator John Danforth when he was Attorney General of Missouri and gave Clarence his first law job in Jefferson City.  Senator Danforth would later guide Clarence Thomas through confirmation to the Supreme Court in the wake of the Anita Hill accusations.  The last few chapters of the book detail that confirmation.  The  book is politically interesting because you read about a poor black boy rising above his circumstances, fighting racism in the government at various levels, becoming a conservative and Republican when he was expected to follow the PC route for rising blacks.  Two interests that Thomas had that I liked were his love for Corvettes and his love of reading Louis L’Armour.  I can identify at least with the second.

 

Parenting God’s Way

Parenting God’s Way

by Rick Shrader

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I read this new but short book (2017, just 41 pages) while researching material on grandparenting.  I have watched Alistair Begg’s career from afar, being distantly knowledgable of Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh where Begg once served as associate pastor.  This book was probably a printed sermon Begg preached from Ephesians on the family.  It is good and solid teaching about husbands and wives.  These sources sometimes supply good information for all generations of the family.  Begg includes a number of quotes from other authors as well.  This description by E.F. Brown was taken from Wm. Barclay on Titus chapter 2: “The greatest need was godly grandmothers ‘who have lived out the principles of the book, who have reared their families, who have known a measure of success, having faced the challenges and the disappointments and the failures, and who then are able to provide the instruction necessary for young women living in a confused culture and looking for clarity from the Bible.’”  Begg also adds, “Paul is speaking, obviously, of older women and their special ministry.  These women have the advantage of their years of experience.  They have the opportunity to offer the value of their accumulated years to the younger mothers, who are establishing their homes for the first time.” This is what I was looking for.

 

Biblical Grandparenting

Biblical Grandparenting

by Rick Shrader

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Josh Mulvihill wrote his PhD on this subject for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and then published this book in 2018 (Bethany House).  It is a much needed book on an important topic.  He writes in the first chapter, “There are millions of Christian Grandparents in America today with few resources to equip them to accomplish the role God has given them in Scripture.  At the time of my study, there were fewer than a dozen books, one DVD series, and one ministry that existed to support all Christian grandparents.”  He is here speaking of resources from an evangelical Christian point of view.  The great benefit of this book is the amount of information, surveys, comparative research, and interviews done by the author.  The book is loaded with quotable material.  For example, “The U.S. population demographic growing most quickly is those over the age of sixty five.  They represent more than a quarter of the entire U.S. population, seventy-eight million in total.  Approximately 7,918 people turn sixty-two each day” (p. 52).  But Mulvihill says, “In scholarly literature, the religious/spiritual facet of the grandparent-grandchild relationship has been neglected.  Research of this topic is limited to the sociological and psychological arenas and is almost nonexistent in the pastoral-theological perpective” (p. 53).

The author gives a solid view of the biblical role of parenting and grandparenting in chapter 2.  He then brings the reader up-to-date on culture’s perspective in chapter 3, with an informative section on the history of grandparenting in America.  In chapter 4 he breaks down four general approaches among believers to the role of grandparent.  These are: the encouraging voice, the supportive partner, the loving friend, and the disciple-maker.  Mulvihill’s point of view is that a grandparent must place the last approach, disciple-maker, as the first priority.  He has shown that it is a distinct biblical role that the grandparent teach salvation and Christian growth to the entire family, especially to grandchildren.  By chapter 7 he is discussing how to disciple grandchildren giving 8 general ways:  asking questions, blessing, intentional meals, prayer, teaching, reading and memorizing the Bible, telling God-stories, sharing the gospel. Some testimonies of parents are given emphasizing each method.

My negative to the book is that it very much reads as a dissertation.  It is first a book of information on the current status of grandparents in America and the church.  Less time is spent on practical ways to be a good grandparent and those are mostly given in general terms.  The book is needful and well worth the price and time to read.  It will pack your head full of facts, but those facts are a good place to begin.