Book Critique Two: Family to Family
In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for:
Pipes, Jerry and Victor Lee. Family to Family, Families Making a Difference. Lawrenceville, GA: Jerry Pipes Productions, 1999.
The authors of the book are Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee. Content Summary
In the book, Family to Family, Families Making a Difference, the writers detail the major premise of the work within its first few pages: “Family to Family will help you discover God’s purpose for your family, develop a family mission statement, establish core values, make time for quality and quantity family time centered around God’s purposes, and equip you to lead your children to Christ and mentor them spiritually” (3).
The book’s purpose is to maximize family time in the Lord, bringing family members closer together by helping them actualize their standing first in Christ, and then as they relate and interact with each other. The book promotes the idea of discovering “the critical link between being on mission as a family and passing the baton of your faith on to your children” (3). This line of thought is prevalent in the book and it seems to summarize the mission of the writers. The book views itself as being based and rooted in the solid foundation of the scriptures, and the authors express as much: “The bottom line--God’s plan for the family has been revealed in His Word… The success of our families will be determined by our commitment to know and live the principles of God’s Word” (3).
In the first chapter of the book, the writers make the contention that many families are not healthy and are not spending quality time with one another. The writers reference research gathered from The American Family Association and George Barna. Through the accumulated research, the writers state that, “only 34 percent of America’s families eat one meal together each day. (In addition) the average father spends only eight to 10 minutes a day with his children. This includes meal times.” (6) Another alarming statistic that they present to their audience is that “only 12 percent of America’s families pray together, (and) the average couple spends only four minutes of uninterrupted time together a day” (6). After the writers finish sharing some alarming statistics, they proceed to identify what a healthy Christian family should look like. They call for persons to examine their own families and to ask the following questions: Is it a cohesive unit or a disjointed collection of individuals? Is it on mission for God or unsure of its mission? Is it flowing or fumbling? Disciplined or destructive? Purposeful or pointless (7)? From the second chapter onward, the writers seek to allow the book to serve as a guide to nurture an unhealthy family as they move towards an improved level of spiritual health. The writers begin by proposing a family mission statement, stating that, “A family mission statement will serve as a centerline and guardrails for your family on the road through life” (25). The writers lead us on an extensive exposition on the importance of a familial mission statement and how to initiate one and incorporate one into our families. In chapter two, they present seven realities, which are geared towards accepting and incorporating the fact that God is and can be an ever-present reality within your family. The writers then discuss the importance of teaching and sharing the Gospel with children. They present the fact that 90 percent of all Christians have accepted Jesus before the age of 25, and therefore, place a premium on passing the baton onto the next generation as early as we can (51). The remainder of the book becomes a summary of other evangelical programs and ideas, shared in an effort to encourage the entire family to become an evangelizing force together. They include the...
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