A recent New York Times article explores the changing public face of the evangelical political and social movement. I don’t agree with all of the article’s points, and I’m not sure evangelicalism is quite as divided and defeated as the author claims, especially because there is yet a good deal of time for Christians to sift out which presidential candidate they like and will support. (Good grief, we’re still a year away!) With the unnecessarily alarmist (and celebratory?) tone of the article pointed out, it does show how some evangelicals are turning to different social causes than those of previous generations. This shift in interest draws my attention because it reveals that Christians are devoting time to less traditional causes, and pouring effort and energy into climate change and the defeat of global poverty.
I have no personal ax to grind on either of these issues–they’re complex, they take time to sort out, and I am quite happy for Christians who know more than me to do so and to inform me as to a suggested course of action. However, I do have an ax to grind when it comes to the shape of the family. A recent book by Voddie Baucham, Family Driven Faith, published in June 2007 by the Southern Baptist pastor and speaker, re-started a whole line of thinking in my mind about the absolute necessity of evangelizing and discipling our children. Now here is an area that every evangelical can recognize that they need to address. A staggering number of people who profess to believe evangelical Christianity do so because they were raised in a Christian home. The Christian home that holds out the gospel and that does not subcontract with a youth pastor, a Christian summer camp, and an FCA group to lead their children to the Lord is doing the right thing. Baucham, a reformed author, an excellent speaker, and a good writer, makes this case quite convincingly in his book, which I encourage everyone interested in this subject (or not interested) to buy. The Christian faith is meant to be driven by families, not by the parachurch, not by “experts,” and not by strangers.