For the children’s sake (a reply to a reply)

A woman has replied to the review of For the Children’s Sake that I posted on

Her response begins, “I’m fairly shocked to read such a harsh critique of a gentle and fully Christian method of imparting love of learning to our children” and goes on from there. My reply is reproduced below.

Dear Ms. Montgomery,

You said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, not by your sermons upon the word”—but the context of the verse you’re referencing (Romans 10:16, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”) actually underscores the necessity of preaching:

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:14-15)

God in His goodness doesn’t leave children to pick up what they can from His Word on their own, but He gives them pastors and parents to teach them.

>>> It appears that you have a lack of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to teach your child, since there is no other method acceptable than jamming the depravity of man down your young child’s throat? …by your heavy handed authoritarian alternative to this book it is hard to believe that the children would not rebel and go wayward.

Ms. Montgomery, in my review I said nothing about teaching (let alone “jamming”) the depravity of man to our children. What I said was that in light of the fact of our children’s depravity it is not safe to hold back from exhorting and teaching them from God’s Word (as opposed to simply reading it and allowing them to draw their own conclusions). Here’s what I held up as the Biblical alternative:

But it is evident that God desires and commands fathers to command their sons. Look at Abraham (“…that he may command his sons after him…”); His command to fathers in Deuteronomy 6; the example of the commanding and entreating father in Proverbs; Jesus’ teaching that a true son always does the deeds of his father; and the Apostle Paul’s teaching and personal example; and you see, first, that a true father is always commanding and teaching his son; and second, that this book’s teaching is in opposition to the Scriptures on this point.

We must not leave our children to their own devices, but must teach them God’s truth and call them to obedience to it. Our duty in this is plainly laid out in the Scriptures, and Mrs. Macauley’s book stands in opposition to this.

It needs to be said that we aren’t likely to be much help in guiding our children away from rebellion and going wayward if we ourselves are in rebellion against God and His Word by refusing to teach them.

In my review I put it this way:

Like us, our children are sinners with deceitful hearts, and it is not safe to reject any means of help that God has given to us to use for their benefit–thank God for the life-giving rebuke, encouragement, entreaty, instruction, discipline, exhortation, and sermons He sends to us through fathers in the faith!

So let us parents trust our heavenly Father’s wisdom and obey His Word and teach—in fear of God, and for the children’s sake.

Daniel Meyer

This entry was posted in authority, book reviews, education, honoring God's Word. Bookmark the permalink.

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