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Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men…
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Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes

by Voddie Baucham Jr.

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A very good call for fathers (and single mothers) to shepherd their families. Which incidentally would make churches more like communities and less like clubs or enterprises. Deeply felt, well founded in both Scripture and the history of the Church, pointing to precious other resources.

A minor grip: it consistently uses ‘principle’ (which would mean fundament) where it meant ‘principal’ (meaning proeminent). Together with colloquialisms such as using ‘impact’ everywhere where ‘change’, ‘effect’ or ‘impression’ would be better, it detracts from otherwise a very well edited and printed work. ( )
  leandrod | Oct 4, 2017 |
This is a pretty good book - nearly as good as Family Vocation. It has a more lively and passionate writing style, but says many of the same things. This is certainly counter-cultural, but important for us to be reminded of. "There's nothing we can do for our families that will ahve a greater positive impact than making sure we're healthy members of a healthy local church." ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
Even though most people would still agree that the family is an important aspect of life, the quality of family life--and the instruction transmitted by parents to children--has certainly diminished in recent generations. This is likely the result of many trends, religious and secular, that have come together at this time.

In Family Shepherds, Voddie Baucham Jr. gets to the heart of these challenging trends and provides direction for husbands and fathers when it comes to fostering a Biblical environment in the home where spiritual truths are taught in word and deed.

In the book he describes the challenges coming from society: feminism, worldly parenting values, educational issues, entertainment, the expectation of the career as being one's primary form of identity, and so on. He also speaks of the problems bedeviling many churches, especially as it involves "youth ministry." He shows persuasively how "youth ministry" perpetuates the specialization trend to the detriment of the father and the family: however consciously or not, people end up trusting "the professionals" to provide the spiritual direction when the child will only really learn it from the parent.

Baucham Jr. seeks to demonstrate, from Scripture, a better way forward, emphasizing the role of the man as the shepherd of the family, using Christ as the example for his life as a husband, father, in the career, and in the church. He encourages the use of catechism to instruct children in the faith, and speaks again, as he often does, of the value of "family worship." He places strong emphasis on church membership and participation in the local congregation. There is much of value in this instruction.

In such an otherwise excellent book it is disappointing to have much with which to disagree. The book is permeated with the author's strong Calvinist position: his description of the dispute regarding free will and divine grace is one-sided, still fighting the full Pelagian strawman, seemingly unaware of the perspective's Biblical deficiencies. It would not be as much of an issue if it were not for his full application of Calvinist principles to children; one would get the impression from the book that the author believes children are little devils. There seems to be no grappling with the lack of full conscious capacity with children and what that might mean when it comes to how one views children and works with children. Puritan sources feature strongly in the book, sometimes in interesting ways, but often to perpetuate some of the more wrong-headed views in the book. The author associates Sunday as the day of assembly with the Sabbath, something not found in Scripture and rather directly contradicted therein (Colossians 2:14-17, Hebrews 4:1-11). He also strongly emphasizes how a local congregation ought to engage in "missions of mercy" on a congregational level but never provides the Biblical support for the congregation being involved in such a work (probably because there is none); strangely, he quotes the one passage that shows how such is not God's intention (1 Timothy 5:16, making a delineation between who the church should support and who the individual should support).

The theological challenges deriving from the author's Baptist background are all that hinders me from providing a strong commendation for the book. The concept is excellent; instruction to men to be the family shepherds they ought to be (and encouragement for single women with children toward the same end) is profitable; if only the book were not so suffused with Calvinism.

ELDV

** book received as part of early review program ( )
  deusvitae | Jan 16, 2012 |
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The author of Family Driven Faith equips men to model and transfer God's truth within their homes, covering topics that span from marriage and parenting to media habits and overcoming difficult family dynamics.

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