This morning I finished reading Gavin Calver's book Disappointed with Jesus? : Why do so many young people give upon God ? It's been in my reading pile for a long time now and I'm really pleased I got to it at last. It's a quick read but very worthwhile. Gavin asks why it is that so many young people with keen Christian parents end up walking away from the faith.
This has been something that has puzzled me for as long as I can remember. Why is it that two children with the same parents, same upbringing, same exposure to the gospel....same everything....can end up making radically different choices about whether or not to follow Jesus? Why can truly godly parents, who model the faith well, who pray over their kids and do all the "right" things see their children kick over the traces, wanting nothing to do with Jesus whilst parents who, to put it kindly, are not desperately good examples of discipleship, who don't do anything remotely intentional to help their kids find faith have children who are radically on fire for the gospel. I meet parents who wonder whether their children would have gone on with God if they had had regular times of family Bible reading and worship. I meet other parents who wonder whether their children would have gone on with God if they had not had regular times of family Bible reading and worship. Can we put it down simply to the sovereignty of God who dispenses saving grace as he wills? Ultimately I believe, at the end of the day, that that is the bottom line but it isn't the whole story.
Back to the book.... Gavin tells his story of growing up in a household of faith. But his was no ordinary household. His dad was one of the most significant Christian leaders this country has had in the last 30 years; the national leader of Youth For Christ, the co-founder of Spring Harvest and the head of the Evangelical Alliance. How do you find your own identity and faith when everyone knows who you are and more to the point when everyone just expects you to toe-the-line. It's a great story with some real challenges and encouragements for parents and church leaders.....crumbs, I'm sounding like a book review.
Anyway, it was good - try it!