Cindy of Under Much Grace reports on a Lutheran church in La Habra, California which reportedly had a man assigned to the task of disciplining teenaged boys with a metal rod. This is the first time I have heard of a church Taking The Rod Verses Literally. Well, maybe not exactly literally, as the rod was too small and made of the wrong substance, but more literal than most. I suppose they perceive that they are being persecuted for the sake of righteousness. I wonder if they also stone adulteresses and blasphemers. I think that they need to focus more on the message of the New Testament.
Rachel Stone of Christianity Today takes a close look at To Train Up A Child in When Child Discipline Becomes Abuse. I notice that she linked to my blog which I much appreciate. She obviously read TTUAC with a critical eye and really “gets it.”
Here is a link to Ted Hildebrant’s article in the Grace Theological Journal 9.1 (1988) 3-19, Proverbs 22:6a; To Train Up A Child? which analyses what “To Train Up A Child” really means.
Here is a short quote from the intro:
Careful consideration of lexical and contextual factors suggests that “train up a child in the way he should go” needs to be reexamined. The verb “to train” really refers to a bestowal of status and responsibility. The noun translated “child” denotes the status of a late adolescent rather than a child. “In the way he should go” is best understood as “according to what is expected.” The original intent then of this verse addresses a late adolescent’s entrance into his place in adult society.
As he did not study the word for Rod, this article does not change his ideas about spanking. He does, however, come to the conclusion that the verse does not advocate early childhood training. He also reminds us that it is a Proverb, not a promise, which is something to keep in mind.
His final conclusion is this:
The parent must not violate the adolescent’s personhood by authoritarian domination, permissive allowance of immaturity, or overprotection from the consequences of his actions.
I must make note of the fact that his Hebrew words were transliterated Right to Left so that they read, “backwards” for us. If you want to read a better version of this article, you may read it here, but you will have to subscribe to the site first.
pFamilyGal considers the question of whether it is right for Christians to condemn the Pearls’ teachings in Called to Judge.
Pearl In Oyster (PIO) responds to her critics in More Thoughts on Biblical Parenting where she discusses Divine Punishment vs. Grace, Spanking for Danger Situations and the Rod Verses.
Lucy tells us how she gently parents her teenager at Dare to Disciple.
Along similar lines, Virginia Is For Mothers has written a post about using Calm Words with our children rather than yelling and/or scolding. This is a good reminder for all of us.
Meanwhile, Under Much Grace continues with her series analyzing the Schatz Tragedy. It occurs to me that this series should probably be read by the Schatzes defense attorneys.
Deb has posted the 3rd and final part of her review of Michael Pearl’s book, To Train Up A Child. In this post she looks at how Pearl prevented “sissies” and trained his children to always be happy. She also looks at what he teaches about the rod. She says that what Pearl teaches about persistence bothered her the most. I totally understand that. It is exactly this emphasis on persistence which I suspect killed Lydia Schatz.
Claire has been doing some Myth Busting over at Dare to Disciple. Today I would like to feature Myth Busting 3: Backtalk, Consistency and the United Front.
For your convenience, here are her previous posts:
JeriWho has written a very interesting blog about Psychology and The Fundamentalist Christian at Blog On The Way. Her premise is that while rejecting Psychology for being “atheistic, Darwinistic, and utterly secular,” they tend to embrace behaviorism which is also atheistic and unbliblical. She makes some very good points here and gives much food for thought.