"Scant decades ago most Westerners agreed that . . . Lifelong monogamy was ideal . . . Mothers should stay home with children . . . premarital sex was to be discouraged . . . Heterosexuality was the unquestioned norm . . . popular culture should not corrupt children. Today not a single one of these expectations is uncontroversial."
So writes Rodney Clapp in assessing the status of the family in postmodern Western society.
In response many evangelicals have been quick to defend the so-called traditional family, assuming that it exemplifies the biblical model. Clapp challenges that assumption, arguing that the "traditional" family is a reflection more of the nineteenth-century middle-class family than of any family one can find in Scripture. At the same time, he recognizes that many modern and postmodern options are not acceptable to Christians. Returning to the biblical story afresh to see what it might say to us in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Clapp articulates a challenge to both sides of a critical debate.
A book to help us rethink the significance of the family for the next century.
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About the Author
Until spring 1999, Clapp was senior editor for academic and general books at InterVarsity Press. He was formerly an associate editor for Christianity Today, and he has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Family Ministry and Marriage Partnership.
His essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including Christianity Today, Regeneration Quarterly and Books and Culture. Clapp is now an editor with Brazos Press, a new imprint of Baker Book House.
Table of Contents
1. Postmodernity: A New Battlefield for the War over the Family
2. The Unnaturalness of Family
3. Advanced Capitalism & the Lost Art of Christian Family
4. Church as First Family
5. The Superiority of Singleness
6. Whose Fidelity? Which Intimacy?
7. Welcoming Children & Other Strangers
8. No Christian Home Is a Haven
Acknowledgments & Notes