Biblical and Theological Concerns

Christian critics of Ezzo's material span the spectrum of denominational backgrounds and parenting styles, but they present similar concerns.

Summary of Concerns

  • exhibits/encourages tendency toward legalism (even while advising parents not to be legalistic)
  • uses prooftexting and scripture twisting to give weight and urgency to ideas presented
  • confuses biblical principle and application, so that the Ezzos' favored applications are presented as moral standards in and of themselves.
  • derides other parenting approaches as unbiblical or holding a lower moral standard.
  • emphasis on the moralism of good behavior -- often defined by cultural ideas of proper etiquette -- rather than on hearts turned toward Jesus

Critics acknowledge that Growing Kids God's Way and other material by Gary Ezzo contains some practical and biblical ideas. However, the presence of the above dynamics make it difficult for parents to freely glean the good, and may contribute to an overly eager or rigid way of applying the ideas.

Essential Reading:

"More than a Parenting Ministry"
by Kathleen Terner and Elliot Miller, Christian Research Journal, Christian Research Institute

"The Ethics of Ezzo"
by Tony Payne, The Briefing, Matthias Media (despite the title, the article is about how Ezzo uses the Bible in his presentation.)

"An Evaluation of Ezzo Parenting Programs"
by Dr. Kent McClain

"Growing Kids the Ezzo Way"
by Dr. Philip Ryken, 10th Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

Growing Kids God's Way - Not Ezzo's
by Pastor Bob Bixby, Pensees

"A Critique of Growing Kids God's Way"
Biblical Discernment Ministries

Christian Leaders & Organizations Voice Concerns - An Incomplete List

For Further Information:

More Critiques, Reviews and Analyses