June 5th, 2008
Whitney, Donald S. Family Worship: In the Bible, in History & in Your Home. Shepherdsville: The Center for Biblical Spirituality, 2006. 64pp. $6.95.
Donald Whitney is Professor of Biblical Spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has twenty-four years of experience as a pastor in the local church. In addition to his duties at the seminary, Dr. Whitney speaks in a different church almost every weekend regarding the Spiritual Disciplines for his ministry, The Center for Biblical Spirituality. Being in a different church every weekend has shown him that the lack of Family Worship has reached epidemic proportions:
I am persuaded that so little family worship regularly exists in Christian homes, that even in most of our best churches, most of our best men do not lead their wives-and children if they have them-in family worship (p.8).
Dr. Whitney is extremely passionate about the subject of Family Worship and has devoted much of his recent studies to the subject matter. He has also taken it upon himself to publish this book as a self-publisher through his ministry The Center for Biblical Spirituality.
This is a short book that can be read in about an hour. For those who will not sit down to read can order the message by the same title here from The Center for Biblical Spirituality.
Summary of Family Worship
The first two chapters give an apologetic for Family Worship from the Bible and Church history. The third chapter shows the reader how Family Worship should be arranged with the fourth chapter answering the most common objections. The final chapter is a challenge to begin Family Worship today. Included in the book is a discussion guide for small groups.
It is important to note that nowhere does the Bible ever command family worship. However, it is implied all throughout. Dr. Whitney shows this in the worship experience of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah just to name one example.
After making a case from the Bible for Family Worship, Dr. Whitney shows how all through history (from the decades immediately preceding the New Testament to the present day) how great men of God viewed the importance of Family Worship. When your list includes Luther, Baxter, Edwards, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, and Piper, you know there is some importance to Family Worship.
Perhaps the best chapter is chapter three because many husbands and fathers who want to lead in Family Worship just do not know how to do so. Some reasons may be that it was never modeled for them or they became a believer later in life (perhaps after having become a father) and therefore they have no idea what they are to do. Dr. Whitney shows just how simple it is to lead your family in worship.
Chapter four offers answers to four common objections to having family worship. He concludes the book with a challenge to the husbands to start now-there is no time like now to begin worshiping God together as a family.
This book gave great encouragement to me as I read through its pages. Not only does he root his argument in the Bible, as the foundation, but he builds some extremely sturdy walls with church history. Even if you just became a believer yesterday, this book will show you how you can go about leading Family Worship. If your husband is not a believer, this book will explain what to do. If you do not currently have a time of regular Family Worship, then this book is a must buy.