S&S Podcast 2016.30~Family Worship

man-leading-family-worshipHere I address the why and how of family worship. Why: so children learn God’s Word. How: It varies quite a bit, but should include Bible reading, prayer, and singing.

 

Here are  a couple of blog posts I wrote on family worship.

A primer on family worship.

Questions about family worship.

 

Our Children Need Public Worship

I know a few good pastors out in California, including Pastor Dan Hyde. Every book I have read by him has been profitable. Right now I am reading his short book  on children in worship, The Nursery of the Holy Spirit.  Here is a great paragraph explaining why our children need to be in worship with us. All punctuation is his except brackets and I have removed footnotes.

With a renewal in biblical doctrine in many evangelical circles today, for example, among “New Calvinism,” it is a great time to reevaluate our practice [of excluding children from worship] and to ask how we can become more “children-friendly” as churches in the area of worship. This is also a great time to do this given the content [context?] in which we live, as our children are being assaulted in their faith more than ever before. Even before many children are born they are assaulted by “Pro-Choice.” Our culture is more and more seeking to allure children into a worldview of hedonism, materialism, and narcissism. The church, therefore, needs to be a refuge for children from the earliest age. One practical expression of this is  in welcoming our children to join us before the throne of God’s grace in worship, giving them a meaningful place in the church. As the church education professor, John Westerhoff III, has shown, the biblical example of three generations in the church’s worship results in interaction and sharing among generations as well as a sense of experiencing the whole community of faith. The children of believers, therefore, are children of the church and belong in the Holy Spirit’s most child-friendly nursery-public worship.

Fertility Rates Lowest Ever

Baby.jpg

The Center for Disease Control just reported that fertility rates are the lowest in the history of the CDC.  Birth rate measures the number of children born compared to the entire population. Fertility rate measures the number of children born to women of childbearing age, generally considered 15-44. Fertility rate is a much more accurate indicator of births than birth rate. Among women ages 15-44 there are 5.9 children born per on hundred women. Rounding up that means there are six babies born for every 100 women between the ages of 15-44. This is the lowest fertility rate since the CDC began recording in 1909. The fertility rates among young women continues to decline, while the rates for women 30-44 went up. The fertility rate has dropped over 10 percent in the last decade. The US is already below replacement rate, which is a little above 2 babies born per woman. In 2010 the U.S. was at 1.9 children born per woman.

If you look at the first chart in this article you will see a general drop in fertility rates since 1940. Here are some numbers from the chart:
1957: 12.2 babies born per 100 women ages 15-44.
1967: 8.72/100
1977: 6.68/100
1990: 7.01-The highest fertility rate since 1973.
2015: 1st Quarter: 5.98/100
1964-1974: Fertility rate drops from 10.47 to 6.78

Another chart from the CDC shows that the fertility rate between 1946 and 1964 never dropped below 10.2.  Continue reading

Book Review: A Holy Vision for Family Life by William Gouge

A Holy Vision for Family Life (Building a Godly Home #1)A Holy Vision for Family Life by William Gouge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first of three volumes on a Christian home. In our modern context this first volume would not be written. We are a very practical age. Give tips on how to my marriage healthy. Give me five ways to raise godly children. But Gouge does not begin there. Instead, a bulk of this book is about Christ and the church. Instead of beginning with how husbands are to love their wives, he begins with how Christ loves the church. Instead of beginning with wives submitting to their husbands, he begins with the church’s subjection to Christ. You will also find a discussion of baptism, what it means for us to be united to Christ, the benefits of our union with Christ, and a discussion of why marriage is not a sacrament.

There are some more practical chapters, but on the whole Gouge lays the theological foundation for his next two books. Therefore it is worth reading, not just for content, but also for his method.

I did have one disagreement. It appears Gouge believes that a marriage can be formed even though it is never consummated. In other words, sex is not a necessary part of marriage. I disagree with this and I am pretty sure most Reformers would as well.

My Rating System
1 Star-Terrible book and dangerous. Burn it in the streets.

2 Stars-Really bad book, would not recommend, probably has some dangerous ideas in it or could just be so poorly written/researched that it is not worth reading. Few books I read are 1 or 2 stars because I am careful about what I read.

3 Stars-Either I disagree with it at too many points to recommend it or it is just not a good book on the subject or for the genre. Would not read it again, reference it, or recommend it. But it is not necessarily dangerous except as a time waster.

4 Stars-Solid book on the subject or for the genre. This does not mean I agree with everything in it. I would recommend this book to others and would probably read it again or reference it. Most books fall in this category because I try not to read books I don’t think will be good. There is a quite a variety here. 3.6 is pretty far from 4.5.

5 Stars-Excellent book. Classic in the genre or top of the line for the subject. I might also put a book in here that impacted me personally at the time I read it. I would highly recommend this book, even if I do not agree with all that it says. Few books fall in this category. Over time I have put less in this category.

View all my reviews

Book Review: The Christian Family by Herman Bavinck

The Christian FamilyThe Christian Family by Herman Bavinck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book for several reasons.

First, Bavinck wrote (1908) as some of the great transitions in family life and society were taking place. This included the movement away from an agrarian culture, the advancement of women’s rights, increase in divorce, the allure of Marxism/socialism, the industrial revolution, and the push of evolutionary theory. This book gives you a window into the mind of a great Christian theologian during a period of drastic change.

Second, Bavinck sticks to principles while acknowledging that application can change. For example, he notes that women are working in various fields. He says that may be inevitable. But then he goes on to say that women should obtain jobs that line up with their central vocation, being wives and mothers. He also encourages women to be trained as housekeepers first and then in a vocation second. In keeping with this idea, he says that once puberty hits women should be educated differently than men. He keeps motherhood and being a wife at the center while acknowledging certain realities of modern life. He also does a good job of acknowledging that sin exists in all ages and yet each age does bring unique challenges.

Third, there was a lot more discussion of the state and society than one might think in a book like this. He discusses how dangerous the state takeover of a child’s education is. He also says that the state educating children allows a woman to leave the home more easily. He also discusses private property, communal property, and the movement into the cities.

Fourth, he is unashamedly patriarchal. He calls women to obey and submit to their husbands. He says husbands are the masters of their homes.

Finally, he is a great writer. Part of this is due to the translator, Nelson Kloosterman,  since Bavinck originally wrote in Dutch. Many sentences and paragraphs are a joy to read not just because of the content, but because of the way he says it.

My Rating System
1 Star-Terrible book and dangerous. Burn it in the streets.

2 Stars-Really bad book, would not recommend, probably has some dangerous ideas in it. Few books I read are 1 or 2 stars because I am careful about what I read.

3 Stars-Either I disagree with it at too many points to recommend it or it is just not a good book on the subject or for the genre. Would not read it again, reference it, or recommend it. But it is not necessarily dangerous except as a time waster.

4 Stars-Solid book on the subject or for the genre. I would recommend this book to others and would probably read it again or reference it. Most books fall in this category because I try not to read books I don’t think will be good. There is a quite a variety here. 3.6 is quite different from 4.5.

5 Stars-Excellent book. Classic in the genre or top of the line for the subject. I might also put a book in here that impacted me personally at the time I read it. I would highly recommend this book, even if I do not agree with all that it says. Few books fall in this category. Over time I have put less in this category.

View all my reviews