Opinion | Family

Spanking in the Spirit?

In 'Corporal Punishment in the Bible', William Webb says pro-spankers like James Dobson and Wayne Grudem are less jot-and-tittle than they realize.

Each week, it seems, stories of parents arrested for spanking their children make the news. Periodically, proposed bans on spanking are considered, but are typically shot down on grounds that such bans tread on parents' rights. Such bans are also met with opposition from some Christians who believe that since the Bible appears to require corporal punishment of children, bans on spanking would prevent Christian parents from living out biblical convictions. Leaders such as James Dobson, Wayne Grudem, John Piper, and Albert Mohler—conservative evangelicals, to be sure, but not at all of the Michael and Debi Pearl stripe—agree that Scripture requires parents to discipline their children corporally. A quote from Focus on the Family's website sums up their beliefs: "the Bible's word on discipline clearly demands that parents be responsible and diligent in spanking."

In a new book, Corporal Punishment in the Bible (InterVarsity), William Webb, professor ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.

Support our work

Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.


Already a subscriber? to continue reading.