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Posted September 27, 2010
Church and the home need to stay connected
Mark Holmen of Faith@Home Ministry writes from personal experience as a Faith@Home dad and a Faith@Home pastor on how to build lifelong faith at home. The book is a very quick read filled with personal testimonies as well as other voices from all over the country. I think Mark gets it right when he encourages church leaders to weave home directed faith throughout the church programming instead of building another family program as a separate entity. I'm just a bit uncomfortable with this self-proclaimed "Faith@Home movement" as it is described in this book and the general tenor of Holmen's ministry. Don't get me wrong, there is tremendous spiritual advantages as we as church leaders discuss and plan how to encourage families to bring glory to God at home. However, as I finished the book I was left with a few haunting reminders of how easy it is for the church in general to get caught up in systematic programming combined with sloppy theology thus detracting from Christ and clear vision of God's sovereign plan. All the events and steps in the Take It Home concepts are, I'm sorry to say, more programs. When you plan a regular event at the church it is a program. It very much has the feel of a silo, the very thing, I know Holmen wants to avoid. Here is the point: as a church gathers to worship Christ, preach and respond to a Gospel that no one ever outgrows, and studies in such a way to believe the Bible and live out the Bible, then you know from the Word that the Holy Spirit is behind the scenes orchestrating it all. I saw very little confidence in the work of Holy Spirit in this book as the driver of parents hearts to bring to bear the Word of God to fruitfulness. I saw hints of a man centered approach to salvation as all the pressure was placed upon the church leaders and the parents to bring faith to the home or another generation will be lost for Christ. I don't buy it. God uses His vessels certainly as He is a God of means but all the pressure is on Him to build His church. The "movement" to build the Church was started at the cross and it includes every area of life and practice including the home. Its interesting to me that the New Testament constantly directs us to the Cross and to the Church. I think that the Bible writers were able to assume by God's inspiration that faith was going to be taken to the marketplace, the town, the countryside and the home. True God wrought conversion does that to a person. I think the main problem that Holmen exposes but never realizes is that faith is so often not at home because its not at the church or in the typical 'seeker' style entertainment driven church goer. Parents are not saved and that is why faith is not at home. The answer is the gospel, a true God centered gospel and not a Finney bootstrap false gospel. Finally, all in all, I enjoyed the book as it was another reminder in my life to disciple my own children in the spirit of Deuteronomy 6. For this reason alone I give this book a thumbs up.
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