I just finished reading Voddie Baucham’s book, Family Driven Faith. Wow! His book has really made me think about my role, and the church’s role, in discipling children. Although I don’t agree with everything that he wrote, I know that this whole book will make you think, especially if you are a father, mother, or church leader. Let me provide a brief summary.
The premise of the book can be found in his sub-title, doing what it takes to raise sons and daughters who walk with God. The church and the family today are not discipling their children in a lasting faith, which is shown by the staggering number of teens who leave the church when they leave home. The answer, according to Baucham, is not new, innovative approaches to youth ministry. “Our children are falling away because we are asking the church to do what God designed the family to accomplish (7).”
The heart of the book is biblical exposition and application. Baucham teaches through Deuteronomy 6:4-12 in chapters 2-8. Chapter 2 addresses our contemporary idolatry through teaching through Ephesians 5:15-21. He gives practical application to honor God in the midst of a pagan culture.
I particularly appreciated chapter 3 because he emphasized that “the love God expects from His followers is not foreign to other relationships (49).” Love is love, whether it is shown to our neighbor or to God. We reveal our love for God through loving our neighbor, or our spouse, or our children. Baucham defines love well and shows that it is a transferable concept to all relationships.
If biblical love is the foundation for our child’s spiritual life, then a biblical worldview is the frame. In chapter 4 Baucham highlights five parts of a basic worldview: our view of God, man, truth, knowledge, and ethics. He also warns against the legalism of rules and limits apart from the foundation of a biblical framework or worldview. A timely warning.
Chapters 5 & 6 go together with their emphasis and practical application toward teaching and living the Word at home. Baucham highlights some important parts of bible teaching, education, family worship and discipleship in the home. With much of the book, this section could have been longer, but I also understand that Baucham is trying to offer the challenge, and then allow the Christian to figure out their own specific way of living it out.
Chapter 7 was unexpected, at least the beginning of the chapter. I take Deuteronomy 6:9 to mean that we should have God’s Word always before us, just as the mezuzah was on the doorpost of the home to remind the Jew of the importance of God’s Word. Baucham sees the verse as a challenge to fill the home with sensory reminders of our worship of God. From this Baucham moves into a discussion of the family altar and family worship. He has an excellent section and how and why to have family worship.
Chapter 8 ends the heart of the book with a discussion on prosperity and our priorities. The book ends with the last two chapters, which summarize Baucham’s view of family-integrated church, a radical paradigm shift from the way the vast majority of churches practice church today. Baucham understands that most churches will not make this radical shift, but he does provide four principles that will lead toward family integration: promote a biblical view of marriage and family, promote family worship/discipleship, promote Christian education, and promote biblically qualified leadership.
I resonate with Baucham and much of what he advocates. Practicing what he teaches can radically change Christian families for the better, for God’s glory.
See part 2 of my review here.