What does the Bible really say the Christian family should be all about? Tim Chester and Ed Moll set out to answer this question in Gospel Centered Family. For those who have been through Downline, you most certainly have been exposed to the troubling state of the American family unit. When things are so grim, it is often our nature to focus on small improvements or the bare minimum. What I love is that Chester and Moll place the reader’s eyes on the biblical standard for parenting, as daunting as it sometimes sounds. In fact, a sub-theme of this book is that many Christian parents are focused on good things, causing an accidental disregard for the best things. The authors move parents beyond teaching Christian doctrine to their children and toward missional living. Similarly, Christian parents are often focused on behavior modification, without addressing the heart-level realities present in children.
The phrase “Gospel-centered” has become a bit of a catch phrase in our day. In the case of family life and child development, it is an especially helpful term. It is in our children that we often see the fruit of the trends of our culture. ‘Christian’ kids can learn to follow the rules and appear holy while never recognizing their need for forgiveness, grace, and repentance. ‘Christian’ kids can altogether disregard a pursuit of holiness in the name of grace. Gospel-centered parenting, according to the authors is about holistic development. Do you want to become a “God-knowing, Christ-confessing, grace-receiving, servant-hearted, mission-minded” family of adults and children? This is a book that will launch you toward that end.