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Revolutionary Parenting: What the Research Shows Really Works Hardcover – March 20, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The calming voices and quiet authority of the alternating narrators give this Christian parenting guide clarity and appeal. The author’s idea is that instead of blindly following psychological experts or cultural norms on parenting, or basing one’s strategy on what has worked in the past, parents should base their methods on the ideals of godliness found in the Bible. Even with this biblical emphasis, the practical aspects of the lesson will make sense to everyone who cares about children. Parents should be thoughtful when organizing family priorities and be consistent in things like enforcing curfews, influencing choice of friends, providing structure, limiting acting out, and picking battles with children carefully. Tracks called “rapid review” and “hands-on” provide helpful chapter summaries and recommendations." 
T.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Spiritual champion: an irrepressible follower of Jesus Christ who accepts the Bible as truth, lives by its principles, and seeks ways to impact the world and continually deepen his or her relationship with God.
It’s your deepest wish for your child: A vibrant, faith-filled life. Yet the day-to-day challenges of parenting can feel so overwhelming. How can you be sure you’re doing the right things to shape your child’s heart, mind, and spirit?
There is no one-size-fits-all instruction manual to follow if you want to produce children who mature into twenty-first-century disciples of Jesus. But in this book, world-renowned researcher George Barna reveals some of the pieces to the puzzle, pieces that will guide your journey toward raising an irrepressible follower of Jesus Christ. Some of his findings will encourage you; some will surprise you. But all of them will equip you for Revolutionary Parenting that works. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: BarnaBooks; First Edition edition (March 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414307608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414307602
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward J. Vasicek on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the few books every Christian parent must read!

Although I have always valued Barna's statistics, I have not always agreed with his suggested plan of action because it was untested.

This time around, Barna wised up. He sorted through many families to find young adult children who turned out to be spiritually solid and worked backwards (to see if he could develop commonalities in how they were reared). And he did! Rather than diagnosing a problem and suggesting a solution, he has discovered what actually and really works (at least most of the time).

First, Barna begins by identifying the kind of young adults (from Christian homes) he considered "spiritual champions." Next, his group interviewed massive numbers of parents, some of who produced spiritual champions, some of who produced kids that were like everyone else's (not committed to Christ).

The test is when kids grow up and are in their 20's. While many twenty-somethings raised in Christian homes have forsaken the Lord, the spiritual champions clearly surface.

The differences were clear and striking. In the families producing spiritual champions, there was no doubt who was in charge; the children were taught how to think as Christians; parents did not give in to all the trends; they were proactive and limited what kids saw on TV and were selective about what kind of friends they had; they prayed together as a family and went to the Word (rather than feelings) when it came time to make decisions. They were more concerned about producing godly adults than pleasing their children in the moment. These parents are in control with their "hands on" and struggle when to take their hands off, whereas typical parents are "hands off" and struggle about when to put their hands on.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Trend watcher Barna provides the church here in USA with excellent snapshot of where Christian parenting is among us. Surveying the 20-something children of Christian families, Barna searches for the factors which kept them active in their faith.

This will not reveal many of the excellent finds which this survey provides in this book form, but will only highlight several of the more important to this reader.

Above all it shows that American children of Christian homes are theologically impaired, at least the vast majority of them. What separates the active in their faith from the inactive in their early adult life center impressively around the Bible Study activity of the parents. This is something I've always strongly believed in and preached to anyone who would listen, and here is some data to support that, limited that it might be. This parent Bible Study permeates itself in the entire family climate and parenting skills, as the Bible has prominence in home life, family devotions, parenting, etc.

Fascinating and suprising results in some areas pop up, e.g. parents had individual parenting strategies for each individual, and they did not have a common discipline practice, as this varied greatly with the exception that they did practice some form of discipline and were consistent among other valuable correlation.

The only concern I had with this due to my theological differences with such evangelicals is the focus on believer's baptism/decision theology and somewhat emphasis on sanctification versus justification distinguishment.

The obvious problem identified at the outset is significant: most American parents have worthy goals and standards for their parenting, but they are not God's, they are not Biblical.

Read this, use it. Your children and their children will be blessed.
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Format: Hardcover
George Barna is a researcher. From the outset his book takes the humble stance of a reporter of information. He claims not to be an expert on children and clearly states his hesitation in writing the book. His humility has the genuine feel of anyone who has been a parent and honestly evaluates their performance in light of Scripture.

What makes Barna's book different is his approach. Rather than drawing from his own personal experience or exegesis of the Bible, he attempts to seek out successes in effective child rearing and work backwards. He identifies a standard of success from Scripture, labeling these individuals "spiritual champions" and researches how they became that way. Barna defines a spiritual champion as "individuals who have embraced Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord; accept the Bible as truth and as the guide for life; and seek to live in obedience to its principles and in search of ways to continually deepen their relationship with God. Spiritual champions live in ways that are noticeably different from the norm--even when compared to the average churchgoer."

Revolutionary Parenting's strength lies not in its step by step guide for parents, but rather in its distilling and presentation of the research data. While Barna does draw conclusions and offer suggestions throughout the book, the real power comes from evidence gleamed from families that have produced successful results. One can not help but evaluate their current parenting practices, methods, and thinking in light of those whose principals and actions are proven.

A common theme throughout the book seems to be that revolutionary parents possess a confidence in the Bible, its message, and use in their child rearing in the face of the current winds of culture.
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