The best stories in the book of Genesis involve families. The issues these stories raise—married vs. single life, sibling rivalry, infertility, family relocation, blended families, and the like—are startlingly relevant to families of today. This Bible study examines the families of Genesis, starting with how the Adam and Eve story encompasses far more ways of being family than most of us think. It looks at the sibling rivalry of the Cain and Abel story, pointing to the jealousy and violence to which the whole human family seems addicted. It uses the ups and downs of the relationship between Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, and Ishmael can help us understand the complicated dynamic of blended families. Carol Helsel and Suzie Park invite readers to consider these and many other connections as they reexamine the joys and complications of modern family life.
This engaging Bible study includes questions for individual reflection or group use.
“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
“The Flawed Family of God provides an honest, thoughtful overview of the dysfunctional families in the book of Genesis. The authors pose difficult questions and avoid easy answers. Helsel and Park use examples from psychology, current events, and pastoral experience to show the many connections between these strange old stories and contemporary life. This book will be a valuable resource for preachers and all those interested in substantive study of the Bible.”
—Lynn Japinga, Professor of Religion, Hope College, and author of From Widows to Warriors