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The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home Hardcover – September 15, 2018
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From the Publisher
What can readers expect to find in The Storm-Tossed Family?
This is a book about the family, but family in light of the cross. It is at the Place of the Skull where we see the hidden presence of a faithful Father, the visible presence of a human mother, the background of a life lived out with an infancy, a childhood, and a hometown. There we see a groom fighting for His bride.
How would you define family in light of the cross?
The church is a household economy, where all of us use our gifts for the sake of the mission. The fact that every person has a gift for the upbuilding of the rest of us is one more way of God signaling to us that we belong. We are wanted. We are loved... We are family. That means no Christian lives alone, and no Christian dies alone. There’s no such thing as a “single” Christian.
Do you have any advice for those struggling with their home life?
The way of the cross leads home. The Light shines in the darkness, still, and the darkness has yet to overcome it. Whatever storms you may face now, you can survive. If you listen carefully enough, even in the scariest, most howling moments, you can hear a Galilean voice saying, “Peace. Be still.”
Why did you use the phrase “Storm-Tossed Family”?
What does that entail? Bound up in a storm is both a blessing and a curse. And in both the blessing of rain and the peril of the storm, we lose all of our illusions of control. Family is like that: the source of life-giving blessing but also of excruciating terror, often all at the same time.
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.02 pounds
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1462794807
- ISBN-13 : 978-1462794805
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : B&H Books (September 15, 2018)
- Reading level : Baby and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #90,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). According to the ERLC website, “The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. The ERLC is dedicated to engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing. Our vision can be summed up in three words: kingdom, culture and mission.”
I have several books from Dr. Moore on my shelf, but to be honest, this is the first one I’ve read. Without reading the others, I feel pretty safe saying that this is his best. Why would I say that? In The Storm-Tossed Family you will like Dr. Moore knows you and is speaking to you or about you. Child, Single, Married, or Divorced, this book is for everyone and will impact everyone.
Dr. Moore shows the beauty and blessing of family in this book while at the same time showing that family can be the hardest thing to navigate and live with. He says, “Family is like that too: the source of life-giving blessing but also of excruciating terror, often at the same time.” He continually shows us that the only way to navigate our family lives with any success is by going to the cross.
No stone is left unturned in this book. Dr. Moore doesn’t skirt around the touchy subjects. He speaks to infidelity, divorce, wayward children, singleness, and death. He masterfully paints the picture of the church as true family. He brought me to tears as he spoke about aging and how it will lead us home.
Rarely do I read a book and think that it may be worth a reread. Even rarer is when I think it may be worth a reread every year. The Storm-Tossed Family is a book with such great truth and value that I want to read it annually. Dr. Moore has given the church a gift with this book. May we be wise enough to learn from him.
And yet, as is always the case with adoption, a tragedy lurked in the shadows. You cannot build an adoptive family unless a tragedy, neglect or abuse has broken the biological family first. And though our girls are young, they have memories of their bioparents, and thus an inchoate sense of loss.
The family makes us and breaks us. It is the source of celebrations and tragedies. Our highest joys and our deepest pains typically come from no place like home.
Commentators often speak of “the crisis of the family” when they talk about long-term, systemic changes to the nuclear family that have occurred over the past few generations. These changes include increased levels of nonmarital cohabitation and childbirth, high percentages of marriages ending in divorce, and the rise of nontraditional family structures. When I picked up Russell Moore’s The Storm-Tossed Family, I assumed it would be a polemic addressing the decline of family values in our nation and arguing for a return to those values.
As much as such a polemic may be needed, and as much as Moore would be the person to write it, that isn’t what this book is about. (Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, well-known for his thoughtful conservatism, both theological and political.) It is not about “the crisis of the family” in general as much as it is about “the crises in my own family” in particular, that is, the milestone events in a family’s life cycle, whether for good or bad.
More than that, it is a Christian account of those milestone events, one that interprets them through a cruciform hermeneutic, one that shows “how the Cross shapes the home,” as the book’s subtitle puts it. Three points stood out to me particularly.
First, family values are not ultimate. “The kingdom is first,” Moore writes; “the family is not.” This sounds radical, and it is, but what else should we make of Jesus’ teaching that His disciples must “hate” their family members (Luke 14:26). Moore rightly notes that hate here means “priority of affection” rather than “hostility or disrespect.” Still, the priority of the Kingdom reminds us that humans can turn any good thing into an idol, even the family. By contrast, he argues, if “we give up our suffocating grasp on our family — whether that’s our idyllic view of our family in the now, our nostalgia for the family of long ago, our scars from family wounds, or our worries for our family’s future — we are then free to be family, starting with our place in the new creation family of the church.”
Second, and building directly on the first point, family is more than the nuclear family. The focus of The Storm-Tossed Family is dad, mom and kids because that’s a fundamental building block of humanity. But the New Testament treats the Church itself as a family. It portrays the Church as the bride of Christ and also as a fellowship of adopted siblings who have one Father in heaven, for example. Regarding those outside the Church, those without a spouse or kids, Moore asks fellow Christians: “Will they hear from us the good news that Jesus invites them, and us, into a family we never could have imagined, a family united through not the blood in our veins but the blood shed from his?”
Third, family points to the gospel. “The family is one of the pictures of the gospel that God has embedded in the world around us,” Moore writes. “Through a really dark glass, we can see flashes in the family of something at the core of the universe itself, of the Fatherhood of God, of the communion of a people with one another.” A family’s joys point to the greater joys of the Kingdom. Its sorrows point them to the Cross, where Christ both suffered and saved. In the depths of misery, family members can look to Christ on the cross and know, “Oh, the Lord redeems all of that.”
The Lord redeeming the mess we have made of our families constitutes the bulk of Moore’s book. He discusses family milestones such as gender differences, marriage, sexuality, childbearing and adoption, parenting, divorce, trauma and aging. His words are wise, irenic and filled with astute theological insight, often expressed in memorable aphorisms. I’ll conclude with just such an aphorism, for it succinctly captures the theme of the entire book: “The only safe harbor for a storm-tossed family is a nail-scarred home.”
Your response to a book has to do as much with who you are when you read it as what's on the pages, I've found. And I needed this book at this time in my life. I've raised a now-grown daughter, mostly alone, until her mother decided she didn't want to be married to me anymore. I now have a near-totally blissful marriage, with three sons on the autism spectrum who provide daily challenges. And I am the son of a mother who is living with dementia. I found hope in this book that, at least for now, gives me the strength to go home from the office tonight. And the greatest hope of all is that finding family a struggle doesn't mean I've failed; it means that I have a lot in common with one of the most prominent Christian leaders of our generation.
Also, Dr. Moore has five sons, two of whom are named Jonah and Ben. I have three sons, two of whom are named Jonah and Ben. So there's that.
Top reviews from other countries
The book points us to God's perfect love and perfect justice.
Would definitely recommend this read