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Book Review – A Father’s Gift

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I love the book of Proverbs and often feel bewilderment when I think of how few Christians, and Christian parents in particular, rely on the wisdom it contains–knowledge that is at once deep and wide. Proverbs is, in so many ways, a manual for raising wise, discerning, godly children. Why then don’t we turn to it more often?

Perhaps it is because mining the wisdom of Proverbs involves concerted effort. Not only do many of the jewels, by their very nature, reveal themselves only upon deep reflection, but the seemingly hodgepodge nature of their arrangement can make it difficult to find the themes, the common threads that wind their way through the text. It is helpful, then, to read a book in which much of that difficult work has already been done. In A Father’s Gift Ken Wingate has sought out and compiled many of the most common themes: wealth, relationships, purity, work, self-control, health, pride and so on. He has taken these themes and applied them to life in the twenty-first century, showing how the challenges of Solomon’s day are the same challenges we face today.

Wingate is a lawyer by trade, practicing in Columbia, South Carolina. Within the book the reader will find many references to the author’s vocation. This adds an interesting element as he shares how he has seen the truth behind many of the proverbs through his clients and through people he has encountered in the courtroom. His perspective as a lawyer (rather than a pastor as we might expect) is refreshing.

In his foreword to the book Sinclair Ferguson says this: “Proverbs–and Ken Wingate following it–shows us the way to possess the jewel of all jewels in a well-adorned life: wisdom that is rooted in the knowledge of, and reverential love for, God. Here is true wisdom that will prove to be worth its weight in gold in every age and culture. Ken Wingate now brings it into our needy culture, and I for one am grateful to him for sharing his gift as a father with other fathers–and mothers, and sons and daughters too.”

In this book, written for his children but given now to anyone who cares to read it, Wingate has done us a great service. He has collected much of the wisdom of proverbs under suitable headings and has shown how these proverbs, these principles, are absolutely timeless, as important to us today as they were to the young men they were written for so many centuries ago. I benefited from reading it and am sure you will too


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