I think it's safe to say that there are very few non-fiction books I have read that I agree with everything in that book, from cover to cover.
In order for a book to rise to this status, first of all it must have been written with a biblical worldview, because the Bible is the first book I read years ago that achieved the "100% Agreement" status for me. So, the Bible is my ultimate standard when reading other non-fiction books.
I have now read and reviewed two books written by Voddie Baucham. I can honestly say that this man writes with heartfelt biblical conviction, backed up by Scriptural verses kept in context, in a way that will revolutionize Christian families and churches in America if they choose to follow the clearly biblical principles he discusses.
I think I can also say with some conviction that after reading Family Driven Faith, you will either LOVE this book, or you will HATE it. I believe that there will be very few people who will find that they are "neutral" about this book.
Family Driven Faith addresses such key issues in Christianity today, regarding American families and their Christian take on life, and churches, that you will either have a completely opposing worldview from Mr. Baucham, or you will rise up and applaud him with each page that you read.
I nodded my head in agreement.
My heart warmed to each chapter as I continued reading.
If you would like to know my own innermost thoughts and convictions about raising godly children, esteeming marriage and children, the biblical "look" of a godly church, the education of children, and more...you will be interested in reading this book, whether or not you will agree with me.
After reading Family Driven Faith, you will either despise me, or you will embrace me. I expect to receive the cold shoulder by some. I already have by a few. My husband and I are considered "strange" by a lot of Christians. They don't understand our rational for what we do. The way we are raising our two daughters doesn't "fit" with the modern American view of raising families, even among the average Christian family.
Here is a look at the chapter titles you will find in Family Driven Faith:
Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God.
1. The Lay of the Land
2. A God with No Rivals
3. Learn to Love
4. Give Him Your Heart
5. Teach the Word at Home
6. Live the Word at Home
7. Mark the Home as Gods Territory
8. Enjoy the Gifts Without Forgetting the Giver
9. The Coming Revival: Is the Church Ready for Family Driven Faith?
10. A Radical Departure from the Norm
Here is my own quick summary of each chapter:
Chapter One: The Lay of the Land. Mr. Baucham quickly summarizes the basic differences between American culture, American Christian culture, and his own views of marriage and family. He addresses the devastation we are seeing as a nation, including the low percentage of children raised in "Christian" homes continuing on with their faith that began when they were children.
Chapter Two: A God with No Rivals. Baucham introduces the reader to the many and various idols most Christian families in America hold fast to. He clearly states,
"A family without a commitment to the God of the Bible has no hope of stemming the tide of cultural onslaught. If we mix a little biblical truth, a little secular psychology, a little romance novel ideology, and a little eastern mysticism, we will get a deadly mixture of lies. Unfortunately, this is exactly what many Christian families do."
You may not like some of the idols Baucham relates to the reader. That's okay. It is all food for thought. Maybe it will reveal something in your life that you have been trained to think was "okay" for you and everyone else in Christianity. Maybe it won't.
Chapter Three: Learn to Love. Our lives, our families, and our homes should be characterized by sincere, humble love for all.
"Our homes must be rife with the aroma of love. Those who visit us should notice immediately that they have left the world of self-serving, egocentric narcissism and have entered a safe harbor where people value and esteem others above themselves. Outsiders should enter our homes and never want to leave. Our neighbors should find excuses to visit us just to get another whiff of the fragrant aroma of love. The brokenhearted should long to be near us. The downtrodden and the abused should seek us out. Families on the brink of disaster should point to us and say, "Why can't our home be like that?"
Chapter Four: Give Him Your Heart. Choosing to follow Christ is more than just a one sentence prayer we mumble at age four. (My opinion here.) Choosing Christ as the Lord of our thoughts, actions, and life is something that should revolutionize and transform us. We will never be "perfect" in all things, but there's no reason why after being a "follower of Christ" for 20+ years, our worldview should still be almost completely against the things of the Scriptures.
"In many ways salvation is like a coaching change. We go form one regime (the world, the flesh, and the devil) to another (Christ). Like a player faced with a new coach, we must learn our new playbook and our new coach's philosophy and terminology as quickly and as thoroughly as possible if we hope to succeed. Unfortunately, many Christians are either oblivious to the larger implications of these truths or never take the time to incorporate them into their everyday walk." (pg. 70)
Chapter Five: Teach the Word at Home. While Baucham does briefly address the benefits of home education, he primarily focuses here on the responsibility of parents to guide their children into a strong, sincere spiritual walk of faith with God. He includes the following quote from David Wegener:
"Reading and memorizing Scripture and the catechisms of the church [as a family together at home] results in incredible development of children, both spiritually and intellectually. What families regard as important is evidenced by the manner in which they spend their time. Therefore, regular family worship shows the children that their parents believe that Jesus Christ is central to all of life. This practice leaves a legacy that will benefit thousands in generations to come." (pg. 98)
Chapter Six: Live the Word at Home. I like this chapter, because it is very practical. Baucham addresses three distinct phases of preparation for our children. Some Christian parents will have great difficulty in working through Phase 1, so they never move on to Phase 2 and Phase 3. Some Christian parents have done well in Phase 1, but they don't know how to capture the mind in Phase 2, or the heart of the child, in Phase 3.
Chapter Seven: Mark the Home as God's Territory. This chapter was also written to provide practical suggestions and examples for the family. Baucham shows how parents can design their home to engage all five senses of their children in family worship. No, this isn't a step-by-step guide filled with multiple Bible lessons that can be used in the home, but clear ideas on how to make family worship time a daily observance, and a time that will be remembered throughout childhood and into adulthood, are mentioned.
Baucham confesses: "I must admit that arriving at a consistent commitment to daily family worship was not easy for our family. We, like every other family, have so many things to do that the time often gets away from us. However, once we decided that our time in the Word was more important and would have a more lasting impact than anything else we could possibly do, we decided to make our family devotions the immovable object in our family life. If school or meals or free time or anything else has to move, it can. However, when we rise (or at least right after breakfast) and before we lie down in the evening, we will spend time together around the Word of God." (pg. 137).
Chapter Eight: Enjoy the Gifts Without Forgetting the Giver. I can best summarize this chapter by the quote that Baucham places at the beginning of it:
"Many Christians live and work in this world, as if their Christianity was a low priority in life, and this world and its pleasures were all important; when indeed the things of this world are fleeting and Christianity is the one thing we need most. -- John Bunyan
Chapter Nine: The Coming Revival: Is the Church Ready for Family Driven Faith?
Mr. Baucham doesn't believe that most Bible-believing Christian church congregations in the United States are ready for the principles and ideas espoused in Family Driven Faith. I must say that from my experiences, I believe he is correct. He says,
"Sometimes families who adopt the philosophies outlined in this book (which I believe are those outlined in Deuteronomy 6) are made to feel like outsiders. Women who break the unwritten two child per family rule are often greeted with questions like, 'Haven't you guys figured out what causes that?' Fathers who choose to emphasize their sons' spiritual growth at the expense of their participation in the all-consuming pursuit of sports sometimes find themselves being alienated by other dads. Children who don't attend the local public high school are often looked down upon because they don't know the latest catch phrases or wear the latest designs. The pursuit of family driven faith can be costly."
Chapter Ten: A Radical Departure from the Norm. In this final chapter, Baucham clearly outlines the differences between most modern evangelical Christian churches and the less popular, "Family-Integrated Church." He lists the distinctives of the family-integrated church:
You can find a lot more details and information about each of these distinctives in the remainder of Chapter 10.
In this YouTube video, Mr. Baucham briefly discusses
how and why he wrote Family Driven Faith.
Overall, I'll give this a "two thumbs up". This man really knows the Scriptures, and he puts them into practical living for families and the church.
You may not agree with him, and that's okay.
I didn't agree with a lot of these principles when we first became parents. But the Lord has really worked on our hearts over the years, and we are doing our best to live out our convictions as they are presented in the Bible.
Even if you think you would hate this book, I would recommend giving it a try. At least you'll know what's on my mind and heart after you've read it!
You can read more about Crossway Books at: www.crossway.org/blog
I received this book free of charge from the Crossway Book Review Program in exchange for an honest review of the book. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!