FATHERS AND SONS: STAND FAST IN THE WAY OF TRUTH – Douglas Bond (2008)

I have been on the lookout for a good book to read with my ten-year old son.  Fathers and Sons Stand Fast in the Way of Truth by Douglas Bond is the book I’ve been looking for.

The author addresses a host of issues that young men need to think through, evaluate, and determine where they stand.  Bond covers the Word of God, temptation, idolatry, pride, Christian thinking, self-control, speech, attitudes, competition, the Holy Spirit, doctrine, and prayer.  And this is just the beginning!

The author presses these issues – and many more. He challenges young men to make difficult choices – choices that honor God and reflect his holy character.  He challenges them to act with a distinctly Christian worldview.  Each topic relates to fathers as well.  Fathers are encouraged to discuss important matters with their sons.  Each chapter concludes with practical resolutions that young men make in the context of an accountable relationship with their dad.  These resolutions would make Jonathan Edwards proud and serve to strengthen the next generation of godly leaders.

This book will likely receive rave reviews and I am personally inclined to stamp it with five stars. But I must  disagree with Bond’s view of worship styles that emerge in Chapter 9.  However,  not everything the author writes about concerning worship should be cast aside.  I agree wholeheartedly with Bond on several points.  For instance, he writes, “One thing is indisputable: seeker-friendly services are shaped by the entertainment industry.”  However, this argument assumes that anyone who utilizes contemporary music as a style is in fact, seeker-friendly.  Nothing could be further than the truth.

Calvin is on the right track also: “We must beware lest our ears be more intent on the music than our minds on the spiritual meaning of the words.  Songs composed merely to tickle and delight the ear are unbecoming to the majesty of the church and cannot but be most displeasing to God.”

And I agree with Bond’s critique of contemporary worship music.  He writes, “Examination of contemporary church music exposes a number of problems: overfamiliarity and sentimentalism; the tendency to bring God down to man’s understanding; lyrics written by young people who are musicians first, rather than hymn poetry written by experienced, gifted Christians with theological training; the tendency to sing about what we’re singing about; simplistic repetitiveness; lack of biblical progression of thought; in short, the dumbing-down of the message in order to fit it into the entertainment medium.”

Obviously, Bond has an axe to grind and I concur – for the most part.  However, much to the chagrin of my PCA friends, all contemporary worship cannot and should not fall prey to Bond’s rightly placed critique.  Thankfully, new worship songs are being written that are God-centered, Christ-saturated, and chock full of Reformed theology.   Consider some of the songs being written by our friends at Sovereign Grace such as  Bob and Jordan Kauflin, Pat and Joel Sczebel, and Mark Altrogge.  These godly men are writing songs that rival the great work of Toplady and Newton.  For this we are thankful.  These songs draw the hearts and minds of God’s people to worship him as he is revealed in the pages of Scripture.

Overall, however, Fathers and Sons Stand Fast in the Way of Truth is a very valuable book, one that should be read and re-read by fathers and sons together.  As a father, Douglas Bond is in touch with the weighty issues that young men face.  And he demonstrates how the Word of God speaks to these issues.  May God use this work in the days ahead to strengthen the God-centered resolve of fathers and sons alike.

5 stars

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