Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift by Dr. Dobson {book review & giveaway}

by GfG on September 30, 2014

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Our lives are fleeting.  Sometimes we think that they aren’t, but God tells us that are lives here on Earth are like mist.  James 4:14 “ What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”   Even though pharaohs and other leaders of nations have built monuments to themselves, it doesn’t diminish the truth that their lives, and ours, were short.  And despite all their efforta nd the amazing pyramids, they didn’t actually take anything with them. And we can’t either. We only leave things behind.

What we leave behind has a lot to say about us.

I might not leave behind amazing pyramids, but what can those really do for others in an eternal way anyway?

While beautiful things are … beautiful…. they can not change a heart for eternity and they can not change the course of a person’s life.

Legacies can impact in ways that pyramids can’t.

A bad legacy leaves just as much as an impression as a great one, but only a godly one can point the way to Christ.

In Dr. James Dobson’s new book Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift, he shares his heart about leaving a Christ honoring legacy for our children and grandchildren.

legacy book PIN

Dr. Dobson is passionate about encouraging parents to share Christ with their children.  He wants parents to invest in their children relationally, in a loving, self-sacrificing, and intentional way.  I couldn’t agree more.

Intentional parenting is what God calls us to and, when we seek His face, equips us to.

One of the paragraphs (pg 62;italics for emphasis mine ) that hit the mark for me was this:

Is it your desire that [your girls] dress provocatively in order to attract the attention of guys, revealing more than they conceal?  …. Do you want them to be so ashamed of their bodies that they feel compelled to diet at nine years of age and are afraid to eat by thirteen?  Are you comfortable with professors who will encourage your nearly grown daughters to experiment with lesbian relationships and tell them that bisexuality is an even greater trip? Do  you hope that your girls will learn that marriage is an outdated institution that should be redefined or discarded? Do you want them to disdain the cherished spiritual beliefs you have been teaching them since they were babies?  If these are your aspirations for your vulnerable little girls, and I’m sure they are not, then you need do nothing to achieve them.  The popular culture will do the job for you.

What a great way to say that intentional parenting and faith sharing is important.

We can just do nothing and our kids will learn all that pop culture wants them to learn.  Whether we actually want them to or not.

That is a scary truth.

The ultimate goal of his book is to press upon the reader that living your life as a parent and then grandparent is to truly be with your children, not just seem like you are with them, to teach them the truth, and to model is to the best of your ability.

Clearly there are many ways to fake it- appearing to care and “be involved” when you’re actually just babysitting. pg 122

Dr. Dobson shares the beautiful and rich history of his family and the faith of the members that passed on a legacy of faith to the next generation and the next.  The book is heavy on this aspect.  There are lots and lots of personal stories, first hand accounts, and such.

Would I recommend this book?

Well,  for some people, yes.  I think this book would be a good book for a new Christian parent or a parent who is struggling with the idea of discipleship of their child.  Especially a Baptist parent.  I say that because the theology matches Southern Baptist doctrine.

This book is an easy read, so it would also be good for new Christians who are not normally big readers.  It is written in a conversational tone.

It encourages some real basics of the faith and Christian heritage. I appreciate that greatly.  The appeal is heart felt and passionate.  It is an important truth that parents need to grasp in this distraction saturated world today.

A passion for the faith is there clearly. There is no doubt that Dr. Dobson loves the Lord and seeks to glorify Christ in his work and family.  He has been blessed mightily in this way.  His stories are encouraging.

I will say that I have some issues with the book.

While it is easy to read, I don’t think it is all that well written.  There are lots of emotional appeals, psychology leanings, and “rabbit trail” types of sections and chapters.  It relies heavily upon radio transcripts and personal stories, but they come across as fluff to me.  I get the feeling this book was thrown together quickly.

Dr. Dobson and I don’t see evangelizing our children the same.  I am not a fan of the term “ask Jesus into your heart” for many reasons. I don’t think it is solid theology.  Dr. Dobson is a huge fan of the term though as it is nearly the only one used in the book when addressing salvation.  He does talk about “leading someone to Christ” which I think is more solid, theologically.

{read this article for why I am not a fan of the term “ask Jesus into your heart”}

I also do not believe that most five and six year olds are fully able to understand and embrace salvation, but Dr. Dobson does.  I do agree with him that children at this age start questioning the faith and asking more meaningful questions, but I don’t think most five and six year olds understand their sinful state and the need to have Christ be Lord of their life.  I do think they might understand that Jesus is better than them, but I don’t think just wanting to go to heaven is what salvation is about.  It’s about much more than that.

I think the emphasis on being a good parent is given too much weight as opposed to God’s sovereignty.  Yes, we are called to be obedient, but implying again and again and again and again that children will not come to the faith if they are not shown it in the home and loved in an affectionate and close way is taking God out of it and leans towards the formula gig.  If you’ve been here awhile, you know that I am no longer a fan of the formula type of mentality for parenting

I think the reason for the modeling and discipling is not clearly stated.  The entire book seems to encourage that the reason we parent in a godly way is so that our children come to the faith.

I think Dr. Dobson misses a big point: we are called to share, disciple, and teach our children out of love for the Lord, trusting Him with the results, not expecting  them.  I thinking teaches parental determinism and i’m  not cool with that

I was not appreciative of an important story in the book.  This story bothered me greatly because it held up the mother in an admirable way, despite the fact that she handled everything about her son’s rebellion and left her husband in her tracks.  The story mentions several times how the dad was clueless and just did whatever the wife wanted.  To use this story as a role model is less than ideal, in my opinion.

Dr. Dobson has a big audience and I hope many are blessed, challenged, and equipped by this book.

GIVEAWAY: I was given only one copy, so the givewaway is for the one I read.  It has one stray pen mark because a kiddo bumped into me while I was reading, but it is a crisp hardback ready to be read!   Enter via the Rafflecopter box below.   Open to Continental US only.

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for the copy of the book and the opportunity to review it.  All opinions are my own. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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