The Jephthah Inheritance
2023 | 248pp pb | 978-1-914454-83-7
Reflections on the sacrifice of the church’s children on the altar of evangelism
Jephthah – one of the most baffling figures in the Bible. Ultimately, it is a story of child sacrifice. Nothing to do with contemporary Christian life, then, you might think. But you would be wrong, because the Jephthah Inheritance lives on in the missions and church organisations of today. For, just as Jephthah made God a promise that had never been required of him, sacrificing his daughter’s life, many missionaries, pastors and full-time Christian workers did the same, sacrificing their children on the altar of evangelism. Herein lie the tragic stories of childhood trauma and abandonment that have resulted in many children of godly parents suffering serious mental health issues and being unable to share the faith of their parents. So, who is to blame? Is such damage avoidable? Can it be healed? Andrew Lane looks into the root causes, the justifications, the bad theology and the self-protecting policies that led to so much pain and tragedy. But he also offers hope for healing and a new way forward in Christian service. This is a book for anyone involved in or preparing for Christian leadership as well as for those now adult children who became unwilling heirs to The Jephthah Inheritance.