By Angela Wittman
Uniting Church and Family: Observations about the current family crisis by Shawn C. Mathis is a collection of published essays (estimated 112 pages, Kindle edition) about the family integrated church movement and what he calls "unsubstantiated" views expressed by some of the leaders in the homeschooling movement. Shawn Mathis is a homeschooling parent and pastors a reformed church, which gives him a unique perspective of these issues, plus a desire to see these things addressed in truth and with Christian love among those in disagreement. Pastor Mathis states in the introduction that this is a "work of love" and "the result of a homeschooling father who investigated the claims of homeschooling's inherent superiority both in history and in academic testing." And "it is the conclusion of a Presbyterian minister who evaluated the claims of homeschooling and family integrated church revivals." The author goes on to say that it is his "hope and prayer" that this "effort will alleviate any false guilt" in families feeling pressured by "spurious claims" and that the end result will be changed minds or "rhetoric." And if that fails, then perhaps a public discussion between opposing parties will begin.
Here is a list of the topics covered:
- Integrated Family Church Movement
- What is a Family Integrated Church?
- Uniting Church and Family
- A Weed in the Church: A Review
- Review of the Christian Movie: Divided
- Flagrant Misquote in the Movie Divided
- Scott Brown and the "Regulative Principle of Discipleship"
- Why I Cannot Sign the Family Integrated Church Confession
- A Weak Gospel Creates Weak Families
- I Was Homeschooled
- In Defense of Homeschooling
- The Statistics of Homeschooling
- A Story about Scholarship
- Why Homeschoolers Need the Gospel
- The Future of Homeschooling
- Homeschool Apostates, Homeschoolers and Legalism
- Colorado Homeschooling Organization Misquotes History
- Lessons from History
- An Outline of the History of Reformed Sunday School
- A Short History of Christian Education
- On Instruction and Parental Responsibility
- On Sunday Schools
- Presbyterian Education Resolutions, 1841
- Preparing For School
- Nobler Exercises of Teachers
- Synod of Dordt: Uniting Family, School and Church
As a Reformed Christian wife, mother, grandmother and former public school board member, who saw first hand the anti-Christian bias displayed in the government school boardroom, I am a strong advocate of private Christian and homeschool education. It really is true that the public schools believe the children are their property once they walk through the schoolhouse doors and that they know better than parents how to educate their children. But I also see where the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be eclipsed by Christian causes and movements such as homeschooling and building up the family, and how legalism can creep into well-intentioned efforts. I recommend this book to all Christians as it raises valid concerns about these popular movements affecting our homes and churches. I believe Pastor Mathis is sincere and diligent in presenting his concerns and this book will prove to be a valuable resource.
May the good Lord bless Pastor Mathis and those seeking His glory and may He bring them together in truth and love for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Amazon links for Uniting Church and Family: