Document Type

Educator scholarship

Publication Date



Since I am a social scientist, it is important for me to search for an empirically derived set of characteristics of a good father such as the ones I found with my Kenya research. However, I am also a Christian who holds the Bible as the authoritative word of God which serves as a guide in my life. Therefore I must seek out what the Bible says about fathers and begin to grapple with how the Bible intersects with the findings and theories of the social sciences. In addition, I teach classes to Christian students who consistently want to know what the Bible says about the topic of parenting and how it connects with or contradicts with the research and theory in the social sciences. As a result it is imperative for me to pull together these two parts of who I am, a social scientist and a Christian, in an effort to see how the Bible's teachings and images of good fathers fit with the findings of current research and theory. In this paper I hope to begin this difficult task. I will attempt to examine how the three categories of answers found in my Kenya research correspond to the good father images in the Bible. In addition, I will discuss how we, as human fathers, should respond to the human and divine images of good fatherhood presented in the Bible.


Addleman formerly directed the graduate Counseling Program and taught in the the Psychology Department at Messiah College.

Messiah College faculty scholarship papers : submitted by faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for promotion to the rank of professor