Give Them Jesus: Parenting with the Gospel

Jenni and I coauthored this review article:

Give Them Jesus: Parenting with the Gospel; A Review of Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.”  Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 17:1 (2012): 52–56.

It has six parts:

  1. Give Them Grace? We explain the book’s title.
  2. Tracing the Argument. We summarize each of the book’s ten chapters in one sentence.
  3. Weaknesses. We highlight just two relatively minor issues.
  4. Yes, Grace, but . . . . I check if the book passes what I call “the God-forbid test.”
  5. A Mom’s Perspective. Jenni humbly shares her perspective. (I love my wife!)
  6. Conclusion. We compare the book to three other popular Christian parenting books.

Last paragraph:

A book on parenting is an excellent place to teach theology and demonstrate how important and practical it is. Fitzpatrick and Thompson keep the main thing the main thing by explaining the gospel to parents and insightfully showing how it applies to shepherding children.

Update: The above link to the PDF is adding characters after the “.pdf” for some reason. This is the link:


  1. Mike Marquez says

    How would you guys contrast the Kimmel approach with Fitzpatrick’s approach? Haven’t read Give them Grace yet, but having read Tchividjian/Horton and others I know I’ll like its gospel (grace) focus. Having been to Kimmel events (but not remembering them well), how would they compare?

  2. Jamie Bickel (@JamieBickel) says

    I appreciate the thoughts in the review, having wondered what the weaknesses are in the book myself. On a side note, it’s very difficult to read a 2 column layout in a PDF electronically.

  3. says

    As I read the Bible, I understand two things about grace. First, I understand that I need it. Then I understand that it has been given me. Sometimes grace-based approaches can be weak on the first part. Do you think this book handles it well? I’m a counselor, so I can always use parenting resources! Thanks.

  4. says

    I just finished reading the article, I loved it. I’m in agreement with Wendy: I also really appreciated Jenni’s perspective. Very similar to what I went through. A few thoughts:

    1. I read Tim Kimmel’s Grace-Based Parenting ten months before Give Them Grace came out. I agree with your assessment of it, however, I think in God’s providence it prepared me for Give Them Grace. Kimmel’s book was my first “breaking,” if you will, from the type of hyper law-oriented parenting we were practicing.

    2. I read Give Them Grace when it first came out last summer. At that time, we were still holding to covenant theology so of course that was a filter for me when I read the book. I think I should read it again now, except that I’m still not sure where I’m at theologically. I keep praying for a Priscilla and Aquila.

    3. Justin Taylor suggested to me some weeks back to read Tom Schreiner’s 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law. I did and discussed it with my husband. I think we’re in a place where we agree with it, but not sure where to go from here. So if I’m moving away from covenant theology, what am I moving toward . . . ?

    4. Last Saturday night my husband and I listened to Elyse Fitpatrick’s and Jessica Thompson’s parenting seminar at the LIBERATE conference. My husband’s response was: “This is brutal!” I highly recommend it.

    So glad for the post, Andy. Many thanks to you and Jenni!!

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