The Flawed Family of God: Stories about Imperfect Families of Genesis (WJK, 2021) is a new book by Professors Carolyn B. Helsel, Associate Professor in the Blair R. Monie Distinguished Chair in Homiletics, and Song-Mi Suzie Park, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Austin Seminary
The Flawed Family of God: Stories about Imperfect Families of Genesis (WJK, 2021) is a new book by Professors Carolyn B. Helsel, Associate Professor in the Blair R. Monie Distinguished Chair in Homiletics, and Song-Mi Suzie Park, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Austin Seminary. In 2020 while Park was a visiting scholar for the pastor cohort gathering the Moveable Feast, she heard pastors discussing the lack of resources for thematic preaching. The seed that conversation planted blossomed when she began talking to her faculty colleague and fellow Connections commentary series editor about co-writing a book on family stories in the Bible.
They began with the questions, What does the Bible say about what it means to be a family? and What does the Bible have to do with the current struggles of families today? The answers revealed that the family dramas experienced in the Book of Genesis raise issues—about married vs. single life, sibling rivalry, infertility, family relocation, blended families—which are startlingly relevant to families of today. Throughout the book the writers invite the reader to consider these and many other connections as they reexamine the joys and complications of modern family life.
Designed for personal or group study, the book strives toward three goals: to allow the reader to see the relevance and connections between the biblical texts and the struggles of today’s families; to give voice to the silent characters in the text and remind the reader to listen for what isn’t spoken in their own families; and to enable the reader to form deeper connections with their own families and communities of faith.
“In this most creative book, Carolyn B. Helsel and Song-Mi Suzie Park have taken an unorthodox stroll through the book of Genesis. Where others find the creation story, Noah’s Ark, and the Tower of Babel, Helsel and Park find families—wonderful, human, complicated families … The authors provide insight into the frayed edges of our family life, but because the authors also find God in the broken places, they bring us profound hope.”
—Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology