Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Faith & Religion

Thinking about family

PBS in the US start a series in the religion and ethics section exploring the relationship between faith and family by surveying five different families. See Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly . SPECIAL SERIES . Faith and Family in America, Part One: Beliefs and Behavior . October 28, 2005 | PBS.

The term “family” is an interesting one. I sometimes ask people if they can define what the biblical view of (a) “family” is, or at least to see if they can defend (incl. biblically) their idea of family. Good to get them engaging with the range of ways family is used in the biblical text and what it means also to be, in the Johannine sense, “to become children of God” (Jn 1).

Definition of “family” also determines, I believe, your social ethics. If it’s wide enough to embrace the inclusion of “widows and orphans”, extended family members, others who are dependent upon you (employees?), and your neighbours into your family then that’s quite a different thing to a definition that sees it as hospitable only to its most immediate members. (Walsh and Bouma-Prediger’s article “With and Without Boundaries: Christian Homemaking Amidst Postmodern Homelessness” (PDF) springs to mind as an approach to overcoming exclusivity through hospitality).

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