Abandoned Faith: Why Millenials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home is written by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez, published by Tyndale House Publishers in association with Focus on the Family. This book is aimed at parents, both physical and spiritual who have had/are having their children “abandon” the Christian faith that they were raised in the nature and admonition of. The authors start with a heart wrenching series of accounts of parents who have had their child “leave” their faith, which sets up for an emotional appeal to the reader who is most likely in the same situation.
As a minister to children, youth, and families this is sadly something I have personally seen again and again. A child is raised in a family who confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior, and tries their best to raise that child/children in a home that honors and glorifies the LORD, yet when the child leaves the home either for college or for the workforce they reject the faith that they claimed as a child. Abandoned Faith is a long letter to parents trying to comfort them and give them practical advice to try to recover their child’s “abandoned” faith in Christ.
While it is obvious that this work is well researched, and I expect nothing less from Focus On the Family, it seems as if the author is placing the weight of their child’s lawlessness on the parents shoulders. While it is the duty of a parent to raise their child, and spiritually nurture them, parents cannot confer faith on their children. Faith is something that an individual must have given to them by God, not by their parent, regardless of their parent’s spiritual relationship with God. What would have transformed this work from good to great would have been the focus on the sovereignty of God rather than the duty of Man. When we remember that it is God who gives us faith, and He is the one who keeps our faith; because of this if it seems that someone has “abandoned” their faith, as sad as it is, there might never have been true belief in the first place.
There was one other concern about Abandoned Faith, which dealt with the practical application for Churches who want to bring back the “lost millennial” generation. While I am on the outside looking in to the millennial generation, the concessions that the authors ask the church to make to the millennial generation take away much of the foundation of the Church. While I readily admit that something must be done to bring the millennial generation back into the covenant community most of what is suggested might bring a few back, but it will have started to make the foundational pillars of the church crack and rot away.
In the end, while I highly respect the two authors of Abandoned Faith, what they are attempting to do presents a compelling argument, albeit one based on emotion and may end up placing the blame of their children’s rejection of Christianity on grieving parents, when they fulfilled their task given to them in Deuteronomy 6 when raising their children.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Focus on the Family via Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
Abandoned Faith: Why Millenials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home
© 2017 by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers in association with Focus on the Family
Page Count: 268 Pages