Friday, March 09, 2007

What makes a family?

listener sent this to me last week, but I never got around to posting it over the weekend.

It is a book review taken from the Diocese of Vermont's newspaper, The Mountain Echo, and the author of the article is also the editor of the paper.

Book Explores Jesus' "family values"

For Luke, Good says, “following Jesus takes priority over every other consideration, overriding even the obligations of family and household.” Luke “requires that the human father demonstrate the love and unconditional forgiveness of the heavenly Father,” and, Good notes, “lays the ground for enlarging the function and role of family and household with a program of expanding hospitality.”

Paul’s focus is on the notion of brotherly love. His community understood the coming of a new heaven and a new earth to be imminent, so he wrote little about marriage and family other than to recommend marriage as the acceptable alternative to uncontrolled sexual desire.

Good concludes that a careful examination of ancient texts will open us up to our own presuppositions. Given the variety of ways the New Testament portrays marriage, family and community life and the lack of a unified teaching, Good says, “For us to isolate and commend one set of moral instructions over another fails to acknowledge the authority of the whole teaching.” She says, “The sure knowledge we have is that if we err on the side of generosity and magnanimity, we do not stray far from the nature of God, and we have a sure claim on God’s forgiveness.” In the end, as she notes in the dedication of the book to her own family, “Magnanimity creates families….”
The rest, as a PDF, can be found here.

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