Book Review: Family Worship



I had the privilege of receiving a copy of Family Worship by Donald Whitney this summer when I was up at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for a week of doctoral classes.  Clint and I recognize that the discipleship of our kids starts right here at home.  Beyond that, we have the joy of partnering with both Cedarcrest Church and North Cobb Christian School where the biblical worldview we are developing at home is being nurtured and added to when our kids are at church and at school.  That’s actually the ideal situation for Christian education…a gospel partnership between the home, the church, and the school.  We have a lot to work on and I’m so grateful for resources like this book that give us some tools to build spiritual disciplines into our family.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • “I trust there are none here present, who profess to be followers of Christ who do not also practice prayer in their families.  We may have no positive commandment for it, but we believe that it is so much in accord with the genius and spirit of the gospel, and that it is so commended by the example of the saints, that the neglect thereof is a strange inconsistency.” Charles Spurgeon, “A Pastoral Visit”, 1978, p. 362-362, p. 16
  • Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (ESV) p. 19
  • Joshua 24:15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (ESV) p. 20
  • Psalm 78:1-8  Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God. (ESV) p. 21
  • Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (ESV) p. 24
  • “Abraham [who] had in his tent a house of God and a church, just as today any godly and pious head of a household instructs his children…in godliness.  Therefore such a house is actually a school and a church, and the head of the household is a bishop and priest in his house.” Martin Luther, p. 30
  • “Brethren, ye are ordained of God to rule your own houses in his true fear, and according to his word…And therefore, I say, ye must make them partakers in reading, exhorting, and in making common prayers, which I would in every house were used once a day a least.” John Knox, p. 31
  • “Turn your family into little churches.” Matthew Henry, p. 34
  • “If therefore our houses be houses of the Lord, we shall for that reason love home, reckoning our daily devotion the sweetest of our daily delights; and our family-worship the most valuable of our family comforts…A church in the house will be a good legacy, nay, it will be a good inheritance, to be left to your children after you.” Matthew Henry, p. 35
  • “If we want to bring up a godly family, who shall be a seed to serve God when our heads are under the clods of the valley, let us seek to train them up in the fear of God by meeting together as a family for worship.” Charles Spurgeon, p. 38
  • “You have to decide how important you think these family moments are.  It is possible—for little ones and teenagers and parents.  You may have to work at it.  But it can be done.” John Piper, p. 42
  • “I agree with Matthew Henry when he says, ‘They that pray in the family do well; they that pray and read the Scriptures do better; but they that pray, and read, and sing do best of all.’ There is a completeness in that kind of family worship which is much to be desired.” Charles Spurgeon, p. 48

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