Saturday, 11 June 2016

Family Driven Faith, by Voddie Baucham

Evangelical author Voddie Baucham is part of what we might call the modern patriarcal movement, which emphasises the authority of fathers. Some people in that movement have gone to some worrying extremes. I don't know if Voddie Baucham wants to see child protection services abolished, but he is associated with people who do. On the other hand, Voddie Baucham is a rare black voice in the rather white dominated Reformed/ conservative Evangelical movement.

Most of this book is about how to bring up a family under the authority and influence of the Word of God. He says some very positive things here. I like the fact that he challenges Christians who allow their weekends to become dominated sports. He encourages such positive things as homeschooling, family devotions and catechetical studies within the family. I am not sure that he takes fully into account the financial pressures that prevent some mothers from staying at home. He says you can get by with less, but plenty of two-income families struggle to make ends meet. Baucham does not mention artificial birth control specifically, but he encourages parents to have lots of children. Catholic readers will be encouraged by his rejection of the Contraceptive Mentality.

In the last two chapters, Baucham offers some controversial views. He advocates what are called Family-Integrated Churches, in which families worship together without sunday schools. He rejects the place of youth ministry or children's ministry, arguing that they are un-Biblical. I think he makes some good points, though there is an extreme Biblicalism in the notion that a thing is undesirable because it cannot be directly found in Scripture.

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