Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

I’ve been on vacation this week with my family.  I’ll be posting more book reviews as a result of this break from ministry.

Arlene Pellicane. Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What’s Right by Arlene Pellicane.  Chicago, IL: Moody Publishing, April 3rd, 2017. 176 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a Christian book on parenting.  The author is Arlene Pellicane who is a public speaker on Christian parenting and she is a frequent guest on various radio show interviews such as Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, and The 700 Club.  I admit I’m frequently on guard with “pop Christian” self-help sort of books and resources and my guard was up reading this book.  Nevertheless I did find this book useful.



Read Full Post »

Purchase: Amazon

Originally I was not sure if I wanted to read this book, as I don’t really have daddy issues. But this book turns out to be good not only from the perspective of a son on a father but of a father to their son as well. This book will capture the readers attention: It is witty, biblical and practical. It is interwoven with personal story but not in excess. I am glad I read it. I believe the author is onto something concerning the problem of men with their fathers. He’s also dead-on with the problems of men who blame their dad for everything as an escape from responsibility. I love how the book makes a conscious attempt to be Gospel centered as the solution to various problems from identifying true masculinity (which means being servant like) to sexuality and pornography. He emphasize also gospel driven motives for sanctification rather than “do better” mentality we can so easily slip into. Change and try harder is not good enough and does not go far enough: We need to realize we have sins that we need to God to repent about!
I enjoyed several illustrations from the book that really sinks in deep in making the author’s point: He had a good point about how no responsible fathers would ever teach their children on how to ride a bike for the first time by going on a hill, giving them a few advice concerning their bike lesson and let them go down hill into oncoming traffic. Yet that’s what we do with our sons when it comes to guidance when it comes to the area of sex. A few pat on the back, and the assumption that they will “figure it out,” never mind that the world is teaching them about sex rather than having them be informed Biblicall that sex is serving one another out of love and not selfish gratification.
The other illustration I enjoyed was his reference to ax, how if you only seen horror film your first encounter with an ax would be shaped by the perversion of what that ax is used for. However, ax is not bad in of itself, especially if it’s used for what it’s originally intended for such as chopping up fire wood for the fire place. This is analogous to sex: our culture has preverted it so much that we think it’s bad because our mind is informed by the perversion of the good. It’s important that fathers then inform and provide real guidance of the biblical view of sex–and biblical everything else for that matter. Good book. Recommend this book.

Read Full Post »

Purchase: Amazon

Why would a Christian blog that focuses heavily on apologetics and theology take the time to review a work on Christian parenting?

I believe that to apply a robust Christian worldview by addressing only the issues of evangelism/apologetics at the academic/intellectual level without incorporating it at the grass root level of the church and the family would be making a great omission of being relevant culturally in the long run.  Since the church and the family is part of the institution that makes up the fabric of society, if we don’t address good Christian parenting and families, than the vehicle for truth in the lives of the next generation would become like a leaky pipe–it pours forth water but leaks out so much and have so much foreign objects intermingle within it to make it ineffective in imparting life sustaining and cleaning resource.

Readers should probably know a little about the author–that he was an Anglican Bishop of Evangelical persuasion who lived most of his life in the 1800s (he died midway through 1900).  Yet, this short work turns out to be still relevant for parenting today.  There were nuggets of wisdom offered throughout the work.  For instance, the author brings out a great point that it’s easy for parents to see what other parents does wrong.  Yet in the midst of this parents must examine themselves that they are parenting in a way that honors God.  I like the point Ryle made about making sure we teach our children to obey even if they don’t understand, but that they understand your love for them and care should be something they trust in even if they don’t understand with their feeble minds.  I thought that was a good analogy of our Christian faith with God the Father as well.  Also a good point was made about not spoiling your kids because a spoiled child in the end is not going to be a happy child.  I was also very encouraged by the point the author made that sometimes it’s okay to teach our children spiritual matters even if they might not understand it right then and there (of course, that’s not an excuse to work hard in bringing things down to the kid’s level).  This work was an encouragement for me as a new father of a child less than one year old–and as I realize the need of our times is Christian parents to raise up their children under the admonition of the Lord and the discipleship of children under a Christian worldview.

Read Full Post »

Purchase: Amazon

If you have read any of Doug Wilson’s book previously, you would expect his style and wordsmiths to shine through in this work. My expectation was not disappointed. Wilson did a good job tackling this topic of raising up men from a Christian perspective. The work is filled with practical wisdom concerning raising up boys to be men, applications which derive from Scripture. More fascinating to me is Wilson’s attempt to teach on how to even think about raising a boy. The work is written from a Complementarian perspective and thus recognizes the unique differences and difficulties in raising up boys won’t be the same with raising girls (I understand Wilson has also written on that subject). Wilson also grounds his perspective on raising boys to be future men from the position of Calvinism. Wilson ought to be respected for making the conscious attempt to apply his theology to the question of raising up men. Here is perhaps the weakness I find in the book, when it comes to certain things he prescribe to that I disagree with: Padeobaptism, Padeocommunion, sacremental theology and Postmillennialism. However, I think the book has enough food for thought, such as the discussion of “being cool”,the current education system that can cripple and work against young boys, young boys playing war and fighting, etc that are very stimulating and well thought out. I also enjoyed his critique of pop culture which we (and any of our kids) are heavily surrounded by. In my estimation, Wilson’s work reflect the maturity that often cultural fundamentalists lack in understanding the culture around us, and yet he is able to properly critique it beyond the stereotype of “just don’t do ____” without thinking through the whys. I’ve also thought it was the best concise theological effort in grounding manners that boy should have in honoring women that I’ve read. I recommend this book, with the caution of the areas I’ve already highlighted which I disagree with him.

Read Full Post »

I just received the following email from Phil Vischer about upcoming Christian TV shows on a “mini-network” called JellyTelly. I wasn’t able to hear the sound from the videos but the newsletter suggested the Christians shows are meant to address kids’ biblical illiteracy and compete with secular networks such as Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Honestly, I think if they can pull this off business-wise, it’d be great. When I used to watch some of these shows with my younger cousin, I’d have to qualify every underlying message I felt compelled to bring up. Watching secular television without a developed Christian worldview is a uphill battle. Some common themes I saw on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel included, secular love, dating, romance and marriage, portrayal of maliciousness toward other kids as humor, lying, and disobeying parents. Add secular music, and educating a kid with a biblical worldview is a losing battle. I can’t censor every song she listens to on Disney radio.  It’s no wonder she already has a “boyfriend.”

Anyways, I digress. Below is the newsletter and the links:

November 2008

Dear FFP (friends and fans of Phil!) …
We’ve launched! After three years of work, we just launched JellyTelly – our new kids “mini-network” – at www.JellyTelly.com!

Every day on JellyTelly kids can watch 20 minutes of “mini” TV shows and play online games while learning about the Bible and their faith. Biblical illiteracy is a huge problem in the church, and we think we can help address it in the same way Sesame Street tackled basic literacy back in the 60s and 70s.

Beyond that, by collaborating with other Christian producers we are planting the seed for what could become an alternative to Nickelodeon® and the Disney Channel® – a tiny kids network that can help raise the next generation of Christians while launching the next generation of Christian storytellers. It’s an exciting time – the most fun I’ve had since we launched VeggieTales® out of a spare bedroom way back in 1993!

To hear more about the mission of JellyTelly, watch this video. To see a sample of our programming and meet Buck Denver, Clive & Ian, the Bentley Brothers, Dr. Schniffenhowzen, Agnes & Winnefred, and Quacky the Duck, watch this clip.

We’ve got a great opportunity to launch the next phase of Christian kids media, and you can be a part of it. Check it out at www.JellyTelly.com/!
Phil Vischer

Read Full Post »

A 13 year-old hung herself, October 16, 2006, after being harassed online from a failed MySpace romance. Megan Meier, struggling with attention deficit disorder, depression, and a weight problem, fell in love with a fictional MySpace character, Josh Evans. After about six weeks, the fictional Josh Evans started a “campaign of vilification and online name-calling that ended when Megan took her own life.” “Megan’s parents said Megan received a message from him on Oct. 15 of last year, essentially saying he didn’t want to be her friend anymore, that he had heard she wasn’t nice to her friends.” Megan told her mother that “electronic bulletins were being posted about her, saying things like ‘Megan Meier is a slut. Megan Meier is fat.'”

Josh Evans was created by Megan’s friend’s neighborhood parents, after Megan and a friend had a “falling out.” The friend’s mother, created and used the fictional character to see if Megan was talking about her daughter behind their backs. A total of three people, Megan’s friend, the friend’s mother, and a friend of the friend, monitored and communicated using the fictitious account.

The Meiers blame the parents for their daughter’s death. They were interviewed on the Today Show a year after the suicide in order to “continue for justice for Megan because we knew what they did. Although the case is still open, investigators told the Meiers, “that while the hoax was cruel, it was not criminal.” The Meiers hope to press criminal charges under a federal law passed in January 2006 that prohibits online harassment.

Of importance is that the parents closely monitored their daughter’s online activities, and were still unable to prevent her death. The parents had the password to the account, preventing her from signing on without them. “[They] had to be in the room” when she was online. The parents were also aware of the relationship, and warned Megan to “not get too excited,” and her mom warned Megan daily about the online relationship. The parents have since, gotten a divorce.

What could have prevented this sad story? The parents had closely monitored and talked to their child about her internet activities and she still was not protected. Ultimately, I don’t think this could’ve been prevented without dealing with the issue of sin. One of the most dangerous aspects of any relationship, online or in real life is the potential for idolatry, worshiping creation rather than the creator. Love, can be twisted from it’s original origin in God and lead to depression and ultimately suicide. Josh Evan became the over-riding authority Megan desired to please rather than God or her parents. Although the article suggests that close monitoring and dialogue with a child will help prevent such a tragedy from happening again, a child must be taught by their parents how to seek God’s pleasure before all others. Sin is the true problem, and the solution is in Christ.

Source: MSNBC’s Today Show

Read Full Post »

CNN reports on a family who took a blood tests to find their 5 year old child with sometimes up to 7 times more chemical exposure then their parents. Focusing mainly on Flame Retardant chemicals, the article talks about the possibility and opposing point of view on the harmfulness of such chemicals as well as what the EPA has done about it.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »