“The Secret of Christian Family Living,” by Ralnh Heynen; Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich. 162 pages, $2.95.
The author of this book is hospital pastor at Pine Rest Christian Hospital; and it is from his vantage point of this position, in which he has often come into direct contact with problems of family living, that he also writes this book.
As the author himself notes in the preface, “The Chapters of this book first appeared as articles in The Banner . . . .” This also accounts for the brevity of the chapters, each of which is approximately two and one-half pages. There are fifty-nine of these chapters, arranged under the following main headings: 1)”The Family As A Unit;” 2) “Parents And Their Children;” 3)”Teen-agers In The Home;” 4) “Keeping The Home In Balance;” 5) “Bridging The Generations.”
It is impossible to give a complete review of the wide-ranging contents of this book here. The book is a book for practical Christian living, deals with the many facets of home and family life, and, in general, offers a Christian common sense approach to many of the problems which arise on the family horizon.
With much of the practical advice one can agree.
My main criticisms of the book are: 1) It attempts to cover too broad a field in too short a space. 2) The book would profit, in my opinion, if some of the practical advice were more directly connected with Scriptural. and Reformed principles. Principle and practice are closely related; and without a firm foundation in principle, sound Christian practice can hardly succeed. 3) The approach of the book, in my opinion, is too much a “problem” approach; a more positive approach would be desirable. 4) The approach of the book is too much one of mental and emotional problems: the spiritual does not receive its proper place and emphasis in relation to the mental and emotional. 5) It seems to me that a more directly Scriptural and covenantal approach, especially in the light, for example, of a book like Proverbs, would improve the book. With these restrictions, I recommend it to our readers.