Parents in Pain, by Tom Bisset.
Several months ago, Gary Rieck, who attends NCBC and who is a teacher at Washington HS, gave me this book to review. I’ll paste two great web descriptions at the end, but I’ll start with my reflections.
The book is valuable in that it seeks to find out why so many Christian kids abandon their faith (at least for a time). The author interviewed many people and shared their stories and experiences. There are four primary reasons why kids leave the faith. 1. Troubling, unanswered questions about their faith. 2. Their faith isn’t working for them. 3. Other things become more important. 4. They never really owned their parents’ faith.
The book interviews people from all those categories and explores the path to abandoning faith. The good thing about the book is that it offers hope, not just an explanation of what went wrong. An encouraging statistic is that 85% of wayward people eventually return to the faith at a later time, such as at the birth of a child. This book tells how to pray and influence them until they do return.
This would be a great book for any parent with wayward teens.
It would also be a great book for high school seniors to read before leaving home as it would bring them face to face with the potential pitfalls and allow them to solidify their faith without being hit without warning. Gary Rieck plans to work up a lesson or two that we can share with the seniors next spring hopefully.
I ordered a couple copies of this book for my library, so if any of you would like to check it out, let me know.
Website Description 1: Author Tom Bisset has talked with those who have left. With openness and honesty, he gets to the heart of the issue by asking Why did you leave? Was there anything anyone could have done or said that might have made a difference in your decision? Yet this is not just a “why did they drop out?” book. The author explores four basic reasons for faith rejection and what you can do to help someone who is struggling with these issues. And perhaps most important, youll find insight and practical advice for communicating the Christian faith to the next generation.
Website Description 2: Most Christians know the heartache of seeing a loved one abandon the faith. Tom Bisset has talked with young people — and adults — who, through neglect or willfull resolve, have abandoned their Christian faith. With sensitivity, he’s listened to their stories. Why do they do it? Could anyone have said or done something that might have made a difference in that decision? Teenagers are not the only ones at risk for faith “exiting”. Adults also fall away, and their defection is just as tragic. Bisset discovered four basic reasons for faith rejection, and offers suggestions that can help readers minister to someone who struggles with his or her faith. This book offers help — and hope — to anyone who loves someone who has left the faith.