Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Family Friendly Farming

Those of you who wondered, I did take Mr. Kimball's offer to borrow his copy of Family Friendly Farming by Joel Salatin. I found it in the mailbox yesterday and began reading it last night. This is quite a book. I have only got through the forward, intro, and chapter 1 and I'm already going to endorse this book. Joel's vision of multigenerational agrarian business is a breath of fresh air. Though it is written from a farmers perspective, the ideas would work for any local family business. We all know that family farms are an endangered group, but really farmers in general are a shrinking group. Salatin points out that the census no longer even counts farmers. It counts homeless people, single mothers, nursing home occupants, but not farmers. There just aren't enouph of us left to even matter. A question to ponder is this. Is there a correlation between the decrease in farms and the increase in the undesirable groups mentioned? I think so. The family farm, with its focus on God and family, was part of the glue that held us together. The Church, the farm, the local community all made the "good ole days" good. I will be writing more about this book as I read it. I look forward to doing both! We might get the phone hooked up today. If so I can move the 'puter, as little John calls it, up on the hill and have more time to write. There are a few things in chapter one I want to touch on as soon as I get more time.


At 5/10/2005 4:15 AM, Blogger ctroutma said...

I'm right with you! I got this book for my birthday this past weekend and spent some time last night reading it. I think I will be going out to his farm in July, so hopefully I'll see you there!

At 5/10/2005 6:06 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

Thats cool, who'd a thunk we would be reading it at the same time! Happy Birthday by the way. It looks like we'll be going down, so I will hopefully get to met you.


At 5/11/2005 11:23 AM, Anonymous buie said...

I must admit your lifestyle is a dream of mine. The only thing keeping me back is that I was raised in the suburbs by my mother and know nothing of farming at all. How would be a good way to get started? I would move anywhere in a heartbeat to live like that. I'm serious. I even thought about moving in with the Amish for a while (but as a Christian Reconstructionist, that wouldn't fit in very well with my theology). I adore that this is a reformed group of believers living out my dream. And I want in on the action. If you could... would you please email me? bdbuie@gmail.com Thanks!

At 5/11/2005 4:34 PM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

Glad to have you here! Feel free to join the conversations. Its always good to find another person from the "reformed agrarian fringe". I sent off an email tonight, again I say welcome aboard.


At 5/11/2005 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott, or anyone reading, I'm Christian and never thought differently. Not to heavy into any theoligies, just simple Evangelical Christian. So my question is what exactly is Reformed, (in ten thousand words or less)? Really, just wondering.

I wonder if you'll be getting any of our Minnesota weather in a couple of days, forcast is for snow tonite and tommorrow.


At 5/12/2005 3:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've attended a Baptist church for a long time, so I'm not qualified to answer your question about what Reformed is. But I can tell you it is something I'm trying to understand myself.

I think Reformed means Presbeterian. And I was initially drawn to Reformed theology because of my growing belief that the end times theology of my church was not correct. It did not seem to bear good fruit.

In any event, you should check out the new catalog from Draught Horse Press. www.draughthorsepress.com

There are a LOT of excellent books in there, including one called "Back to Basics," which is described as an "introduction to the Reformed faith." I have not read this book yet but it sounds good.

I'd like to hear some other responses to your question.

Best wishes,

Herrick Kimball

At 5/12/2005 6:45 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

Hey Tom

Hope calving is going well. Thanks again for answering my hog questions.

What is "Reformed"? Reformed theology is basicly historical protestant christianity. Our beliefs are akin to those of Luther, Calvin, Knox and others from the reformation era. There are many groups in the "reformed" camp. Things we all have in common are these. We are Calvinist, we believe in predestanation. We read the bible as one book rather than spliting it up as the dispensationalist do. The whole bible is about Jesus Christ from start to finish. We hold to the creeds and confessions such as the Apostles Creed and the WCF. I am a Reformed Reformed Presbyterian but there are also "reformed baptists". I am not sure how one comes to embrace covenant theology and still hold to credo baptism, but some folks do.

Our Church says this about what we believe.......

Our beliefs all stem from a full commitment to the authority of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God. This means that we believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We acknowledge our total inability to save ourselves and, in faith, depend on Christ alone as our Savior. We acknowledge Him as Covenant Lord in every area of life, and we vow together to advance His Kingdom on earth.

We believe that God desires His Church to set forth clear statements of her system of doctrine that can be supported from Scripture. We therefore accept as our creed, or subordinate standards, The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

As far as "end times" teaching goes the reformed faith is much different from our fundimentalist brothers. We reject the dispy premill veiw that all is falling apart....and soon. The reformed folks are split into 2 camps here. The amill crowd which is basicly Premill with NO earthly hope. They figure the church remains realitivly small and not very influencal in the world. Things stay crappy but we don't know when it all ends. My veiw, the Postmill veiw believes the church will grow slowly over time and evantualy all nations will confess Christ is King (note we do not believe all will be saved) and this must happen before the return of our Lord. This I believe to be the most biblical.

I do a lousy job explaining this stuff in writing. Any help from anyone is welcome. Better yet come over for some homebrew we can talk a spell :)

At 5/12/2005 6:47 AM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5/12/2005 6:48 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...


I have a pretty good collection of books on eschotology(end things). Send me an email if you want to borrow any. I'll send em out to you right away.


At 5/12/2005 6:49 AM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

I would add that at the heart of Reformed theology is a high view of the sovereignty of God. The other Reformed doctrines flow largely from this. And I can't think of any book better than Almighty Over All (also available from Draght Horse Press) to help you get your head...and your heart...around the idea of God's sovereignty.

At 5/12/2005 6:51 AM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

Rats...corrected one typo and missed another. "Draght" sounds like a mild minced oath, doesn't it? Ha!

At 5/12/2005 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your explanation is very helpful Scott and thank you Herrick and Valerie for such helpful input. I'll look into the books mentioned and keep an eye on some of the web sites.

Calving is moving right along on this rainy 30 some degree day with a 30 mile an hour east wind. They seem happy out in the calving pasture so I'm happy in the warm house.


At 5/12/2005 5:13 PM, Blogger trawlerman said...

Scott did an admirable job of briefly describing what it means to be Reformed.

If anyone is still curious, here is a very brief introduction by B.B. Warfield:

A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith

I'd encourage everyone to take a look at the mission statement of Biblical Horizons:

Mission Statement

While you're at the Biblical Horizons site, make sure to look through their catalogue. There's not much in the way of agrarian living, but there is an abundance of rich Reformed insight to be found.

Finally, I'd second the recommendation of Back to Basics, edited by David Hagopian, especially the essay contained in it by Douglas Jones. Back to Basics is the best introductory work that I've come across.

Personally, one of the first Reformed books that I read was R.C. Sproul's The Holiness of God, which can be purchased directly from Ligonier for the insanely low price of $2.50.


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