Book Review: Family Worship by Dr. Donald S. Whitney

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.

With Father’s Day fast approaching, this book would be an excellent gift for dad. If your church uses holidays like Father’s Day to give families edifying books to nurture their souls, I would recommend this book (and audio CD as an alternative for some). If this book is not on your church’s book table, it needs to be.

This book can be purchased at The Center for Biblical Spirituality.

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3 Responses to Book Review: Family Worship by Dr. Donald S. Whitney

  1. Brother Hank says:

    I protest this book review. Terry just likes Dr. Whitney because he too has a fountain pen, not primarily because Dr. Whitney is a theological stud, although he is that.

    Brother Hanks last blog post..God Bless the Working Man

  2. Speaking of fountain pens, have you bought yours, yet? I think I am just amazed that you got fountain pen and stud all while referring to Dr. Whitney into one comment. Oh, guess I did, too!

    How ya’ doin’ bro?

    Terry Delaneys last blog post..Looking Forward to the Lord’s Day

  3. Rachael says:

    Family Worship is something we all need to make a part of our daily lives. Reading this review makes me think about how important it is and reminded me of a book for children called “This Bible Talks!” The book is a way to connect to the stories of the bible at a very young age and is a tool to help take that time for Family Worship. It is a great book and I thought I would share it because I think it is very fitting. There is no excuse to not start learning the ways of the Lord at any age and as a family.

    Here are the details on the children’s book if you are interested and the website is where I ordered it.
    “This Bible Talks!” by Pamela Fischer. Narrated by Michael David McGuire.

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