Title: Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God
Author: Voddie Baucham Jr.
Released: June 7, 2007
Publisher: Crossway Books
Pages/format: 224 (Hardcover)
Source: From the publisher.
Quick Synopsis: Author and father Voddie Baucham argues the case for family-based discipleship and admonishes parents to take responsibility for the raising up of godly children.
From the book jacket:
More teen are turning away from the faith than ever before: it is estimated that as many as 70-88% of teens who profess Christianity walk away from their faith by the end of their freshman year of college.
Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, anti-family society. Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multi-generational legacy of broken and dysfunctional home, shows that God has not left us along in raising godly children. He has given us timeless precepts and principles for multi-generational faithfulness, especially in Deuteronomy 6. God’s simple command to Moses to teach the Word diligently to the children of Israel serves as the foundation of Family Driven Faith. This book is an urgent call to parents–and the church–to return to biblical discipleship in and through the home.
Quick Review: Family Driven Faith is a well-written, Scripturally grounded, and enlightening treatise on parenting that will positively impact the reader’s understanding of what it means to raise godly children and build a strong family.
Family Driven Faith is a ten chapter treatise on biblical parenting based on Deuteronomy six. It covers an array of topics within that framework, including home education and the use of catechism to impart core doctrines of the Christian faith to children, family worship, the family-integrated church model, and the impact of feminism on the nuclear family. Each chapter discusses a different aspect of biblical parenting and concludes with a brief set of practical recommendations on how to implement the principles taught therein.
Upon beginning this book I wondered if Dr. Baucham would exhibit the same judgmental tone, antiquated language, and holier-than-thou attitude that others in his circle of associates have voiced in their books. (R.C. Sproul Junior’s When You Rise Up, Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin’s So Much More, and Stacy McDonald’s Raising Maidens of Virtue come foremost to mind.) As it turns out my fears were unfounded. I was greatly impressed by Dr. Baucham’s pointed, unashamed, yet humble and tactful articulation of the truth. He levelheadedly examines the Scriptures and statistics which point to a failure in the current system and encourages parents to respond to this evidence. And unlike the aforementioned authors, Baucham does not try to stuff matters of pure conviction (like quiverfull or stay-at-home daughterhood) down the reader’s throat disguised as biblical mandates.
I mentioned above that Dr. Baucham uses a number of statistics to prove that the current model for Christian child-rearing, which leans heavily on educational institutions and church Sunday schools and youth groups, is failing. Many of these statistics, which are pretty disturbing, were gathered by the Barna Group. While I am certainly not going to sit here and say that there is nothing wrong with youth today, I do have doubts about the true accracy of these numbers which carry so much “shock value.” According to Dr. Bradley Wright in his book Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites… and Other Lies You’ve Been Told, the Barna Group has a tendency to blow the culture crisis out of proportion, in part by wording survey questions poorly so that they elicit a slanted response. Wright also calls into question the usefulness of linear projections, which Baucham also relies on to state his case. This is not anything against the theme of Dr. Baucham’s book. Even if today’s youth are not any worse off spiritually than the youth of generations past (which remains to be determined), I still think the message of Family Driven Faith is very relevant and much needed. I don’t know enough about sociology to determine for myself which approach (Barna’s or Wright’s) is the best. I just wish Baucham had not relied so heavily on statistics from such a sociologically controversial organization.
My overall opinion of this book was very positive. Dr. Baucham is a gifted writer and represents his cause well. I especially liked how he punctuated the narrative with reflections on his own failures and successes as a father of four children. I think that if more families read his book and put its teachings into practice, our country as a whole would begin to reap the benefits.
About Voddie Baucham:
Voddie Baucham Jr. is a pastor, professor, conference speaker, and Bible teacher. He is a graduate of Southwestern and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminaries and has also studied at the University of Oxford. Baucham is the author of The Ever-Loving Truth. He and his wife, Bridget, have several children.