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Parenting by God's Promises Hardcover – November 15, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


To our great shame, far to many Christians raise their children without much thought as to what makes parenting distinctively Christian. Secular patterns of thought and habit have deeply infected Christian homes, and an antidote is urgently needed. Thankfully, it arrives as Parenting by God's Promises by Joel Beeke. This is a truly helpful and healthy book for Christian parents- deeply biblical, theological, and practical. Parents, prospective parents, and churches will want to keep Parenting by God's Promises close at hand. --Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.: President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

In an age of pragmatism, Joel Beeke is a drink of fresh, cool theological water. Raising children is about more than just surviving until they leave home; Beeke reminds us that Christian parents must view their roles in the broader context of God's redemptive work. Our goal must be raising children who, by God's grace, come to know and follow the Lord who has redeemed us and called us to Himself. This is a daunting task, and parents need all the help they can get. For those desperate to hear a clear thoughtful, biblical, theological, Reformed treatise on the subject, Parenting by God's Promises is a valuable read. --Dr. Voddie Baucham: Pastor of preaching, Grace Family Baptist Church, Springs, Texas

The defection of young people from the church is creating great concern in our day. Oftentimes the solutions seem to exacerbate the problem. Joel Beeke's book, Parenting by God's Promises: 'How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace' is a sane, biblical word in the midst of the chaos. The book blends a vibrant covenant theology with wise, practical instruction. Moreover, it keeps a balance between family and church in the nurture of our children. This book is an important read for pastors, elders, parents, and grandparents. --Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr.: President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Greenville, South Carolina

About the Author

Dr. Joel R. Beeke serves as president and professor of systematic theology, church history, and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, all in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has written, coauthored, or edited some fifty books, including Living for God s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism, Meet the Puritans, and Taking Hold of God: Reformed and Puritan Perspectives on Prayer. He has contributed more than fifteen hundred articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. Dr. Beeke holds a PhD in Reformation and post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He frequently lectures at Reformed seminaries and speaks at conferences around the world. Dr. Beeke and his wife, Mary, have three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia. They make their home in Grand Rapids.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567692664
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567692662
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mathew Sims on April 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Head and Shoulders

Joel Beeke draws from the deep well of covenant theology and provides us with a glass of cold water for parents seeking to honor the Lord. Christ and his cross-work are the central theme of this book. Beeke leans hard on the finished work of Christ and the promise made by God to those of us in Christ through the covenant of grace.

Beeke starts off in Part One ("Covenantal Foundations for Parenting") unpacking the truths found in Scripture surrounding Christ, the covenant of grace, and the gospel. He provides some well-needed, helpful encouragement for parents who take too much responsibility:

God teaches us that the success of happy, well-adjusted, spiritually minded, Christ-honoring, God-glorifying, Scripture-grounded children growing into adulthood is never because of us. Sometimes the Lord makes us realize our own insufficiency so that we learn to rest completely on the trustworthiness of His covenant and on the character of God Himself as the Author of it. (5)

He also warns about those within the stream of reformed theology who have wrongly presumed their children were converted and so failed to consistently call their children to belief and repentance (27-28).

In Part Two ("Parenting as Prophets, Priests, & Kings"), Beeke looks at the different roles parents must play in the home. Using Scriptural themes from the ministry of Jesus, we are to be prophets, priests, and kings. His section on being priests who are sensitive and sympathetic to their needs and weakness for our children was superb (Chapter 11 "Sympathizing with our Children").
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Fuller Review on November 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book points parents to, as the title suggests, all of God's promises, not only for us parents but also for our children. The first five chapters explained the Reformed view of raising children, while also setting a firm foundation of parenting on which to build. In a very straightforward way Joel Beeke presents to us a step by step method of bringing our children to Christ and how they can treasure what we as parents are teaching them. One of the things I learned from the first five chapters is that we must, "bring our children to Christ at every age". It's important for me, as the father of a beautiful girl and soon a son, to know that at every level of learning I must present my children with Godly principles that are at the learning level of my children. I am overjoyed when my daughter sings "Jesus loves me", but I know that I must continue to wrestle for her heart with things rooted more deeply in God.
In the next section Joel continues to lay out our responsibilities as parents and models to our children. Of this section I found the following quote to be most useful. "Proclaiming the Word of the Lord is not a cold, emotionless task, but a passionate, irresistible calling, lit by the fire of faith and love." I am spurred on by this quote to enjoying Christ with my children and to seek Him as our treasure in all that we do. When we love and treasure Christ we find that joy is automatically in abundance because of seeking to glorify Christ.
Chapters 6-14 drew out in very clear terms on how we are to parents our children with wisdom and the power of God. Though there were some things I did not agree with, such as teaching your children catechisms, I do believe that it is wise to instruct my children to learn from those gospel pioneers who came before us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laura Langley on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Written by Joel R. Beeke, pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Parenting by God's Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace offers a reformed, covenantal perspective on parenting.

Parents from a Reformed tradition will find the book upholds their long-held beliefs, while parents from non-Reformed traditions may find parts of the book differ from their interpretations of some Scriptures. In fact, I would caution non-Reformed readers to be aware that their own traditional interpretations are criticized in the book. Still, I think there is enough practical parenting advice that may benefit readers from both traditions if one is patient enough to sift through the whole book to find those nuggets.

Parenting by God's Promises is divided into four parts. Part One outlines covenantal foundations for parenting while Part Two focuses on parent's roles as prophets, priests and kings. In Part Three, the author highlights practical steps for child-rearing while Part Four specifically deals with parenting teenagers.

While I struggled through the covenantal implications on parenting, I appreciated the author's list of duties of Christian parents, with which I think parents of any Christian tradition can agree and should strive to achieve: directing our children to Jesus Christ and His perfect sacrifice as the only ground and foundation of salvation; call our children to heartfelt obedience to God; and instructing our children in Christian doctrine (pages 25-26).

The author did emphasize the necessity of dependence upon God, upon the centrality of His word, and upon prayer. He also addressed the value of learning to exercise sympathy without excusing sin.
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