Unconverted sons and daughters
Day One Publications, 96 pages, £5.00, ISBN: 978-1-84625-307-2
The subject of this book is one close to the hearts of many parents. When asked to review it, I had a special interest, as both our children have long ago abandoned their profession of faith.
It is a small volume, made to look bigger by the use of large fonts, widely spaced lines and wide margins. The practice of placing italicised faint quotes from the text actually on the page seems only to take up even more space.
The book itself is doctrinally Reformed and deals with the subject in an orthodox way, including chapters on God’s Word and power, the place of grandparents, and conversions from history, all of which were designed to encourage.
The author points out that blaming ourselves for the spiritual condition of our children is not profitable: ‘Too often parents burden themselves with a false sense of guilt, thinking that the only reason their children are not believers is because they have failed as parents … Remember Christ was perfect and people rejected him’ (pp. 15-16).
But the book, as a whole, left me dissatisfied. It was hard to determine for whom it was written. Its brevity meant that nothing was treated in any depth. For a new Christian, it would serve as an introduction to the subject, but for more experienced believers there was little to help.
When dealing with such a subject as this, where emotions are deeply stirred on behalf of unconverted children, something more than proof texts and anecdotes are needed. This book did not reach out to deal with the real heartache felt by so many.
It was not that there was anything wrong or out-of-place with what was written, it was just altogether too brief. More, for example, on how to handle dark providences would have been useful.