We conclude our summer reading list from Shepherd Press begun in yesterday’s post with three more books.
As the title suggests, this new work examines the practical theology of the Proverbs under several categories: work, wealth, friends, marriage and children. Of particular interest to our readership will likely be the latter two chapters covering marriage and family. For example, the chapter on children proceeds upon the axiom, “A Proverbs-Driven life accepts the calling to raise children as a task delegated and directed by God.” The chapter unpacks Proverbs 22:15, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, the rod of discipline will drive it far from him,” and advocates a Gospel-centered, heart-focused discipline. The chapter later gives the parents profound wisdom with an exposition of Proverbs 6:23, “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” Parents, as well as children, stand desperately in need of the grace of God, in raising children in the discipline and instruction of Christ, the author argues, and he provides roadmap through Proverbs, with categories to guide the discipline of children. Like all good books on Christian doctrine, this book is both theological as well as practical.
Excerpt. “While corporal discipline certainly has its place in raising young children, the overwhelming emphasis in Scripture is on training children by speaking to them. In fact, Proverbs teaches that parents should seek to become so effective at verbal discipline that corporal discipline eventually becomes unnecessary. There are two main verbal disciplinary techniques suggested by Proverbs: To encourage good behavior and to discourage bad behavior.”
Speaking of discipline, Ginger Plowman’s 2003 book needs to be rediscovered by moms (and dads!) across the scope of evangelicalism. I cannot improve on Tedd Tripp’s commendation: “This book is properly aligned. It makes the focus of discipline the heart and unpacks how to use the Scriptures for both encouragement and reproof. The tendency in parenting books is to be heavy on ideas and strategies for managing our children and light on biblical foundations. (This book) weaves together solid biblical truth and practical parenting advice.” In addition to dealing with heart discipline, the book includes excellent appendices on how to lead your child to Christ and how to pray for your child.
Excerpt. “Many parents today have bought into society’s definition of discipline. Because they relate the word to negative training, they would rather tolerate their children’s behavior than correct it. Those who do attempt to establish standards tend to miss the hearts of their children. They simply try to control their children, focusing only on their outward behavior. They have adopted the philosophy that if they can get their children to act right, then they are raising them the right way.”
Craftsmen: Christ-Centered Proverbs for Men
By John Crotts
Real men all know one thing: they are not wise and need the wisdom, that James describes, “comes from above.” John Crotts is just such a man and he has written a book pointing men to the only well from which true wisdom may be drawn: God’s Word. And the Bible is not a book of cutesy, but disconnected moral aphorisms like Bartlett’s Book of Quotations. Instead, Crotts correctly views it as God’s Word, His special revelation that points men (and women!) fundamentally to the place where all stores of wisdom are located: Christ. The author begins with the meaning of wisdom, the beginning of wisdom and the end of wisdom (Christ) and, in separate chapters, shows how Christological wisdom is pertinent to everyday life in areas such as work, authority, sex, the tongue, the temper and relationships. Any man who wants to lead his family in godliness must first be ready to serve as an example of it; Men, start with Craftsmen; it is a sure and certain guide.
Excerpt. “If you have been blessed with an oversized brain and an IQ that would make Einstein jealous, but you live as though God doesn’t matter, you are just a big-headed fool. God’s wisdom starts with an attitude (not an IQ) and then works out into a lifestyle. Understanding the meaning of wisdom is a foundational component of knowing what God wants us to strive for. As one wise man observed, ‘If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!’”
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