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Flawed Families of the Bible: How God's Grace Works through Imperfect Relationships Paperback – March 1, 2007
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From the Back Cover
"A profound reflection on how God relates to, works with, and loves families whatever their circumstance. The Garlands escort us on a tour of some of God's more interesting biblical families, always with an eye to exposing their fully flawed humanity. This book will challenge and change the way many read the Bible--not because it focuses on failures and difficulties, but because it shows that our true greatness is not so much of our doing, but of the God who is much more that we deserve."--David M. Thomas, codirector, The Bethany Family Institute, UK and USA
"Diana and David Garland have pooled their combined expertise in scripture studies and family ministry to create a wonderful, wise book. Flawed Families of the Bible challenges all our pious platitudes about the life of faith and the 'perfect' family, opening us up to a radical transforming vision of real redemption experienced in the midst of confusion, failure, and pain. This gracious and grace-filled book surprises us into seeing God and our family lives anew."--Wendy M. Wright, author of Seasons of a Family's Life: Cultivating the Contemplative Spirit at Home
"What does the Bible say about families? What is a 'normal' family? Let two of the wisest guides around help you explore these questions with insight and care. Be warned, however, as it is with most things biblical, the truth will both enlighten and disturb you. Flawed Families of the Bible opens wide our eyes--and our hearts even more--as we see both the pain and the promise of family life. Most of all, we catch a glimpse of how large God's grace is and what it means for all of us."--J. Bradley Wigger, author of The Power of God at Home
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Top Customer Reviews
This readable book is easy to read and is for anyone interested in the Bible, especially those struggling with family problems or suffering because of relationship difficulties or traumatic life events.
For example, the chapter on Michal provides insight into her shame at David's dancing, insight which most readers (including the present reviewer) tend to miss without special attention to her story elsewhere in Samuel. We miss such insights because of many factors, but particularly due to failure to read the Bible closely and our cultural assumptions which may reflect Hollywood more than the Holy Book (i.e., that Bathsheba seduced David, an assumption the authors rightly refute). There are two antidotes: going back to the text to see what it really says, and asking careful questions to ensure that the text is saying what we think it's saying.
As the Garlands note, when we pay careful attention to those who are "damaged goods" in Scripture, the simple act of hearing that one's trials are also found in Scripture provides enormous encouragement to the suffering. For those of us who live around others who are suffering, hearing oft-ignored stories from Scripture helps us hear the cries and needs of those who suffer in the present. The Bible isn't just about heroes, and it's certainly not about perfect families and lives--it's about people in need of mercy and grace and restoration.
Well done, Garlands!
My only wish is that was longer. Maybe there should be a volume 2. Here are a few examples:
1. Sibling Rivalry: Jacob & Esau 2. Favoritism of Parents: Isaac & Rebekah 3. Lying Parents passing the sin from generation to generation: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob 4. Rape in the family: Tamar & Amnon and on and on.
Thanks David and Diana for writing this book that helps show that the Bible characters were real people who made it through real problems just like we experience today.
Easy read with quick chapters. Insightful.
While debating whether to buy it or not, I opened right to "Dinah's Story" and wondered how a person would feel if her brothers took such brutal, bloody steps to avenge a "rape." In that same chapter, I read about Tamar being raped by her own half-brother. Not only did her "loving" father do nothing to avenge assault; neither did he try to comfort her or offer any compassion. I flipped to another chapter and skimmed the pages about Leah and Rachel. How would it feel to NEVER come first in your husband's affection? Then there was Bathsheba, and for some reason, I'd never really thought that much about her feelings of abuse (?) and loss.
Garland and Garland tell the stories and then apply them to our lives today as we struggle with envy, distrust, favoritism, rejection, and a host of other emotions and situations. It's well-written, thought-provoking, and educational. What more can you ask for in a book?