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Gospel-Powered Parenting, How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A practical guide to parenting that starts with the differences that the Gospel makes in the lives of those doing the parenting - most Christian books ignore this aspect.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Presbyterian and Reformed (first published 2009)
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Todd Miles
Gospel-Powered Parenting is a very good book and should be read by parents of children of all ages. Its strengths lie in its commitment to the authority of Scripture, its commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and its centrality, and its spot-on theological anthropology and doctrine of sin. Children are fallen and need a Savior! It amazes me that evangelical Christian parents parent as though that is not the case. Given this high recommendation, let me pass on two concerns:
1. Farley's material...more
Sean Crowe
I would have to say that this is probably the best book on parenting that I have ever read. I would whole-heartedly recommend this for new parents, old parents and parents in between. Farley basically does what Harvey does in When Sinners Say I Do, except he does it with parenting (i.e. they apply the gospel to marriage and parenting respectively). I love both of these books, because they are both theological and practical. I was exposed to Farley's book first when my wife and I worked through i...more
I did not love the writing style, but I found the beginning of the book to be incredibly helpful in it's laying out of the gospel, of God's justice and wrath, and incredible grace. When it came to applying these principles to discipline situations the advice was nearly identical to "Shepherding a Child's Heart" and it an approach that I am not personally comfortable with. It feels to me to be a little patronizing in the way it explains why we must discipline children, plus he advocates using spa...more
Gospel-Powered Parenting is the first parenting book I've read so I have little to compare it to. I turned to it in a state of desperation that I think every parent feels from time to time... the 'I have no idea what I'm actually supposed to be doing here' moment. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I digress...
Tim Challies wrote an excellent review (see it here) and I promptly ordered it and read it with gusto - highlighters out and at the ready.
Farley brings parents back to the h...more
Aug 25, 2011 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fathers
Shelves: faith, parenting
I really wish I could give this 3.5 stars.
There were some wonderful parts of the book and some really bad parts of the books.
Fortunately the meat was good: parent through the power of the gospel which means we teach our kids and can't expect church/school/etc to do our job, importance of a father's faith and presence, our marriage preaches (really good putting things together in this chapter), importance of discipline and love and that we all fail and need Christ.
Bad stuff: He needed an EDITOR,...more
Matt Rigney

Wish I could give this 3.5 stars. I really appreciated his emphasis on pointing children toward the Gospel. I also appreciated his emphasis on the importance of fathers in raising their children. However, I thought he sometimes went dangerously close to minimizing the roles of mothers ("mothers are assistants to fathers" or contending that in regards to the emotional health of children mothers play little roles). Also, I felt he was lacking in his treatment of discipline techniques. He strongly...more
There are some good points, but I majorly disagreed with his emphasis on Patriarchy. One of his main premises is that Christianity is patriarchal and the family unit should be centered on the No. The family unit should be centered on God alone. Anyway. Did not like this book.
Finally a book that is not formula based, but Gospel based! This book takes the transforming power of Christ's work on the cross and applies it to parenting. Our kids need to know they are sinners who have a great Savior. It's not about raising kids who keep the rules, go to church and stay out of trouble. It's about teaching our children the transforming power of Christ's imputed righteousness to help them overcome their sin and see that it is not about what they do (performing well), but what...more
Becca Goodpaster
This has been my favorite book on parenting. Farley really puts the gospel at center stage rather than any formula (though he does suggest many things). Another point I loved about this book is the author magnifies the importance of a properly ordered home--Dad as Head and Chief Parent, and Mom, equally important, but under Dad's authority and Assistant Parent. God's order is perfect. I also appreciated Farley's illustration of the Gospel. Between this book and "Don't Waste your Life" by John Pi...more
Shouts loud and clear that the Gospel is sufficient for parenting.

This book is not just a typical parenting book, but digs deep into scripture on the heart of parenting. The heart of your children spiritually is a huge factor in the way they respond. This book is at the top of my list for sharing with others parents. Theologically, not everyone will agree with the authors point of view, sadly though he is for the most part right on. If people took to heart and truly studied theology as well and understood doctrine it's amazing what a difference it can make in...more
Eric Molicki
This is an excellent help for parents. It is richly shaped by the gospel and a largely "lost" but thoroughly Biblical perspective of parenting. It is also wonderfully accessible and practical. There are parts that will rightly rile folks (who need to be riled). My only knock on it is that it could have used some editing into a better over-all paradigm that would have helped readers new to Biblical parenting better see the over-all picture. Still, definitely recommend this work and am renewed in...more
This was a fine book on parenting. Farley repeatedly beat the drum that the gospel is the most important tool we have as parents, and he showed how this played out with a few examples. If I had to recommend a single book on parenting, it wouldn't be this one. (It would be Shepherding a Child's Heart.) But this isn't a bad book to have on your shelf, to consult from time to time, to remind you that our view of God and ourselves (and the saving work of Jesus) are foundational to the way we care fo...more
Mark A Powell
Parenting can be a challenge for anyone, but Christian parents face the added dimension of trying to parent according to God’s standards and, ultimately, for His purposes. To aid parents seeking to gain a better “big picture” view of what God intends their parenting to accomplish, Farley has written this helpful treatment. He explores how Scripture addresses parents and their role. While substantial, Farley’s work is also quite accessible, making it easy to read (and recommend).
I thought I was going to be reading a book that simply had tips on how to discipline your children based on the Gospel, but it is so much more than that! It is by far the best parenting book I've read so far because it's more about defining God's holiness, His sovereignty, and His purpose for us as parents than listing ideas on how to get our kids to behave. I would recommend this book for all parents, expectant parents, and anyone planning on having kids in the future.
I think better than shepherding a child's heart. Just because it's simpler to read, concentrates on the gospel more and not so intense about smacking. However there was one page that I strongly disagreed with. Bad confusion of Law and Gospel. Might have to re-read Shepherding to compare again

PS: Since first reading this I have discussed it extensively with my SIL and have come to the conlusion that the confusion of law and Gospel is too bad to recommend it.
Rachel Hampton
I thought this was one of the best books on parenting. It was actually a great book on life in general and our walk with Christ! I highly recommend!
A challenging and interesting look at how Christians can parent by choosing to look at their child in the terms of eternity. While I wasn't sure I agreed with every statement in this book, it did cause me to think about what we are going to do in terms of discipline with our daughter, our motivations, and the seriousness of our responsibility as Christian parents. Definitely worth a read if you are a Christian and have children.
Brent Osterberg
Definitely one of the best Christian parenting books in publication. The chapter, Gospel Fathers, was truly inspiring to me as a young dad.
A good thought provoker that reminds us of the importance of living out gospel principles in our marriages before our children. One has to apply gospel truth to life and family life for it to be real to you and your children. I think he could have spent more time discussing the application of gospel grace to parenting.
A very useful and encouraging book. Strong emphasis on how important fathers are in the rearing of our children, spiritually, emotionally, etc.

A good balance between the theological emphasis in the first 1/2 of the book and the practical applications in the second half of the book.

Highly recommended.
Julie Lewis
An excellent read that gives a great theological foundation to gospel centered parenting. This book also gives practical advice on effective discipline. As with every parenting book, it's important to be flexible in application as no one knows your child better than you!
This is a big-picture, principle-based book on a philosophy of parenting that is rooted in the gospel. While its strength is not practical examples, and there are a few ideas Farley suggests that I would tweak, I would highly recommend it.
Dan Sudfeld
I had a couple of questions at the beginning, but all in all, this is an excellent book. Farley has rightly oriented us all to the Gospel as we seek to be godly parents. I took special note of the challenge to fathers in taking a leadership role.
Jesse Smith
One of the two best books that I've read on parenting. Love that the author spends the first half of the book only taking about God and His character...then spends the parenting chapters pointing back to God's character.
Chris Hubbs
A solid but not groundbreaking book; good in the reminder that we need to be more focused on inculcating the gospel than good morals into our children. Fairly thin in practical examples of to-dos, but a useful compendium.
Jeremy Metze

I loved the book. I appreciated his exclusive interest in the gospel's power on parenting. He offered advice and technique but minimized that to parental responsibility to cherish the Gospel and be Spirit-led.
Great, gospel approach to parenting. I thought it provided a wonderful theological foundation while also offering practical suggestions. The book definitely challenged me and transformed the way I will approach parenting.
Full of gold nuggets, especially on Biblical fatherhood and the impact fathers make on a family. I'd give it a 3.8, only because of some theological differences. If not for those, I'd give it a 5.
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William P. Farley is senior pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship in Spokane, Washington. He is the author of For His Glory, Pinnacle Press, and Outrageous Mercy, Baker.
More about William P. Farley...
Gospel-Powered Humility Outrageous Mercy: Rediscover the Radical Nature of Christianity Outrageous Mercy: Rediscovering The Radical Nature Of The Cross For His Glory: God's Ultimate Purpose and Why It Matters to the Church When Facing the Storms of Life: Balanced Biblical Answers for the Hard Questions

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