Trained in the Fear of God Book Review

As a father and a Christian, my children’s relationship to Christ and the church matters greatly.

As a prospective church planter, the proper relationship between the church, families, and the gospel matters greatly.

The editors of  Trained in the Fear of God, Randy Stinson and Timothy Paul Jones, seemed to share my interests because their book  is a gospel-centered, biblically-based call for the church to assume its rightful place not as a producer of programs for children but as an equipping and training center for parents to be able to more effectively disciple their children.

The book is organized into three parts

  • Part 1 is theological, with chapters on family discipleship in the OT, the Trinity, and gender roles.
  • Part 2 is historical, with surveys of family discipleship throughout Christian History
  • Part 3 is practical, with nuts and bolts ideas to help families transition to the family-equipping model of children’s ministry.

What was good

  • This book actually started with the Bible, which is surprisingly left out of many books about ministry in the church
  • The practical ideas were actually practical without being prescriptive
  • The book aimed to educate and not just inform

What wasn’t good

  • The fact that this book is an edited collection of essays means it’s a little disjointed, particularly the chapter from Al Mohler on Homosexuality
  • This definitely feels like a book that could be used as a college textbook, which might turn off some readers.


I would definitely recommend this book, although most people would be best served by reading the chapters that most interest them and not necessarily reading the book cover to cover.