Letters to Dobson

Discipleship Parenting wrote a Letter to Dr. James Dobson. It is a lovely letter, you should take a look at it. In it she gives a testimony of how his teaching on spanking hurt her family and how they found something better.

She got a reply from Focus on The Family defending their stance.

She then wrote another letter where she explained further how his teachings are damaging and dangerous.

She received another reply from Focus on the Family which reiterated what was said in the first letter.

I highly recommend that you read these letters.

Edited to add that  she has posted 2 addendums to her first letter to Dobson:
Addendum to “Grace”
Handling Disputes Biblically


  1. Samuel Martin on February 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Quoted from Prof. Margaret Mitchell – university of Chicago – Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature – from the paper – “How Biblical is the Christian Right?’ A must read

    “This kind of farmed out authorization to one’s own appointed panel of “experts”
    points to a curious inconsistency about the Focus on the Family web site: Dobson’s
    vacillation about whether he is himself qualified as a biblical interpreter. One “Q and A”
    link asks “Does Dr. Dobson answer theological questions?” The answer comes back: “Dr.
    Dobson is often asked to respond in detail to biblical or theological inquiries, however, he
    has had no formal training as a pastor or theologian and freely acknowledges his
    limitations in these areas. Over the years, Dr. Dobson has made a deliberate decision to
    direct the attention of our ministry away from in-depth biblical interpretation and
    theology, choosing instead to concentrate our efforts on our primary purpose—
    introducing individuals to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and thereby
    strengthening the family” (here links are provided to Billy Graham and Dallas
    Theological Seminary’s Chuck Swindoll). Yet on another link, Dobson is asked: “You
    have said that your philosophy of discipline (and of family advice in general) was drawn
    from the Scriptures. On what specific verses do you base your views?” The answer
    comes back that since “God is the Creator of children, He must certainly know how our
    kids out to be raised,” followed by citations from 1 Tim. 3:4-5; Eph. 6:1-3; 6:4
    [interestingly, cited separately]; Col. 3:20-21; and Heb. 12:5-11. Since only the last
    passage even uses the word “discipline” (as the set-up question has it), Dobson moves
    from God’s wisdom (“These Scriptures and related verses contain more wisdom than all
    the child-development textbooks ever written”) to “summarizing the primary theme he
    has extracted from all the related biblical passages” (from literal “word” to constellated
    “theme”: “shape the will without breaking the spirit”). But when we turn to a case in
    point: “Should a child be spanked with a hand or some other neutral object?” Dobson
    answers by appeal to personal anecdotes: the “small switch” his mother used on him, and
    his own story about the boy of some friends who was just “asking for it” and got an
    “overdue spanking” in a parking lot, which he had (obviously, for Dobson) been begging
    for and expecting as his rightful due from his parents (who did not disappoint). “

  2. Steph on January 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    BEAUTIFUL letters to FOTF! My husband has been wanting to write similar letters about his disappointment in Dobson and FOTF. He wants me to send my work to them as wel, but I know they’d have the same reponse as they did her! I’d love for Dobson to change his heart about spanking–it especially makes me sick that he advocates it for very young children! Bravo to her for allowing God to convict and change her heart about spanking her young son! Bravo to her also for trying to write to them about their inappropriate parenting advice that is reeking havoc in the Christian community! May we continue to work together to get Truth out there so that God can change hearts!

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