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April 27, 2004

Gary Ezzo and Good Hermeneutics

I recently picked up and was skimming through Gary Ezzo's program, "Growing Kids God's Way."* On page 317, Ezzo declares that something he disagrees with is poor hermeneutics.

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or throw the book across the room.

While Gary Ezzo makes asserts he is teaching "biblical" parenting principles, in reality he is teaching his own ideas presented in a way that is persuasive to many Christians.

I recommend to all Believers this short series of essays on Biblical Hermeneutics. It is written with the Christian parent in mind, and uses examples from Gary Ezzo's faulty thinking.

* GKGW Fourth Edition, 14th Printing, Winter 1997.
This course is now called "Let the Children Come Along the Virtuous Way."


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"Let the Children Come...Along the Virtuous Way"

Anyone want to explore the hermeneutics of using that biblical allusion in that way?? I mean, the fact that Ezzo could string those two thoughts together to form a [supposedly] coherent title phrase shows he continually misses the point and is quite willing to use the Bible for his own ends.

Here's the famous incident where Jesus said, "Let the Children Come":

'And they brought young children to
Him, that He should touch them:
and His disciples rebuked those
that brought them.

But when Jesus saw it,
He was much displeased,
and said unto them,
"Suffer the little children
to come unto Me,
and forbid them not:
for of such is the kingdom of God"'

Jesus turned the tables on the disciples and the children suddenly became the focal point--just as they were (that was the whole point)--in an object lesson to the adults. Not the other way around.

At that moment, He certainly did not have in view that the children should pursue any GKGW-style "virtuous way" unless that virtuous way is defined as simply being drawn to Christ to be touched by him, with nothing to recommend them other than that He had something they needed.

Posted by: Kathy at April 28, 2004 05:45 PM


Good observation. I wonder if Ezzo says this stuff purposefully or if he really has deceived himself.

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and try to check it a few times a week. In fact, yours is actually one of the few links I have listed on my own fledgling blog(www.reasonswhy.org).

Keep up the good work!

Sozo (brian from the parentsplace Ezzo board)

Posted by: Sozo at April 29, 2004 05:42 AM

Hi, Brian!

Thank you for the encouragement and you putting me on your shortlist.

I wonder if Ezzo says this stuff purposefully or if he really has deceived himself.

My opinion (from observation) is that Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo truly meant well when they started out. However, they made some mistakes, and instead of being willing to be humble and deal with them, have kept digging themselves in deeper and deeper.

Perhaps he is, to a degree, self-deluded. But with the continued confrontation by the elders in his churches, whistle-blowers like Frank York, and families who have come to see the problems that were connecte to his teachings, I believe he is very well aware of the problems.

I think he is unwilling to rependt, and so continues to try to put a positive spin on the past outrageous things he's said--and so that makes it worse.

Posted by: TulipGirl at April 30, 2004 06:18 AM

Thanks for this link to Biblical Hermeneutics. It's a little late tonight for such heavy reading but I copy/pasted it into a document to read tomorrow. I'm excited to get into it! :)

Posted by: AutMom at April 30, 2004 07:23 AM

Off subject: While you're in the States, coupla recommendations for some tunes. Air1 Radio, Christian station, owned by K-Love, but plays the harder stuff we "young people" (can I still be that now that I'm 30?) like so well. :) In my area it's at 88.7, but they are nationwide, find them on www.air1radio.com.
Also pick up Todd Agnew's CD at Berean or somewhere. Not every song is a hit, but I bought it simply for Grace Like Rain (title track). I have found Track 12 "Waiting for Your Rain" - yes apparently it's a theme with him - has 3 songs on it, including an old hymn. There's just something about a scratchy, almost sexy voice singing an old hymn that makes it so much more palateable, so much more worshipful than the dreary accompaniments of organs... sorry old ladies!

Posted by: AutMom at April 30, 2004 07:31 AM

i don't see how anyone can believ that Jesus would teach a parent to starve a child so they could "be in charge"

Posted by: tami at July 30, 2004 05:46 PM

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