Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 154:616 (Oct 97) p. 485
Precious in His Sight: Childhood and Children in the Bible. By Roy B. Zuck. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996. 279 pp. $19.99.
This wonderful book about children provides great biblical and theological insights into the importance of children, parenting, and children’s ministries. In it Zuck, Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, has made a significant contribution to those who minister and work with children on a regular basis, including parents, teachers, childcare workers, and children’s ministers. Precious in His Sight represents a unique blend of scholarly research and practical application on many topics related to children.
Opening with a chapter on the prominent place afforded children in the Bible, Zuck notes, “We normally think of the Bible as a book about adults and for adults—and it is. However, the Bible includes hundreds even thousands of references to children and related subjects such as conception, childbirth, families, and descendants” (p. 13). This chapter discusses an amazing array of words and phrases related to children and families which occur hundreds of times in the Bible.
Such thorough analysis of the subject of children is not limited, however, to the Scriptures. Zuck has also developed a comprehensive picture of the state of children in the United States today, including a description of the numerous and overwhelming disadvantages so many children face. The collapse of moral absolutes and values, changing family patterns, working parents, divorced parents, single parenting, poverty, cohabitation, premarital sex, homosexuality and homosexual “parents,” child-free marriages, and marital violence all constitute the social fabric enveloping many children in today’s society. Moreover, child abuse, drug abuse, media violence, crime, and abortion represent intensely destructive elements surrounding children.
The solution to these problems on a personal and national level is to return to the Bible’s standard for raising children. Here Zuck’s biblical acumen results in a tremendous catalog of theological recommendations and guidelines for raising children. For instance, chapter 7, “‘Bringing Up Children’: Parental Responsibilities in Bible Families,” provides eleven biblical challenges to parents: lead, pray, dedicate, provide, love, enjoy, worship, model, discipline, encourage, and teach. These challenges are practical in nature and always supported
BSac 154:616 (Oct 97) p. 486
biblically with fresh insights into their theological meaning (this is a characteristic feature of the entire book).
Parents, teachers, and scholars will be especially interested...
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