Russell Moore Addresses the ‘Family Prosperity Gospel’ in New Book ‘The Storm-Tossed Family’


Russell Moore decided to add to the many books on the family after he realized many Christians have adopted a version of the prosperity gospel when it comes to such issues as marriage and parenting.

The author of the new book “The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home” told Baptist Press he recognized a “common theme” in his conversations with people in different states of family crisis. In part, “many Christians have an implicit ‘prosperity gospel’ when it comes to the family,” said Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“We falsely believe if we love Jesus and we follow the right steps that we will have nothing but peace and tranquility in family relationships,” Moore said in a Sept. 19 interview with BP. “That misunderstands what the Bible teaches about the family as an arena of spiritual warfare.”

It is a reason why, “when people are facing difficulties, they sometimes withdraw and assume that means that something is wrong with them rather than seeking the rest of the community of the body of Christ,” he said.

“The Storm-Tossed Family,” released Sept. 15 by B&H Publishing Group, offers guidance on the family in the context of the atoning death of Jesus, spiritual warfare and the church, while it addresses the topics of marriage, sexuality, divorce, children, parenting, household tensions and aging.

In the book, Moore writes the family comes with a “unique mixture … of joy and terror, of beauty and brokenness.”

“The cross shows us how we can find beauty and brokenness, justice and mercy, peace and wrath, all in the same place,” he writes. “The pattern of the Christian life is crucified glory — this is as true for our lives in our families as in everything else.”

Moore told BP, “[I]t seems that every aspect of family life is ultimately humiliating in the sense that it tends to bring us to the end of our resources where we really need the Spirit, we need the church. And I think that’s intentional, and I think that as people of the cross we ought to see that God’s glory often shows up in places that seem to be the most difficult and broken.”

In the book, he writes, “The family is one of the pictures of the Gospel that God has embedded in the world around us. Through a really dark glass, we can see flashes in the family of something at the core of the universe itself, of the Fatherhood of God, of the communion of a people with one another.”

It is not accidental that Satan “seeks, in every generation, to disrupt the peace of the marriage covenant, of the integrity of the sexual union, of the parent/child bond, of the unity of the church as the household of God,” he writes. “Family is spiritual warfare.

“Family humbles us,” Moore writes. “Family humiliates us. Family crucifies us. That’s because family is one of the ways God gets us small enough to fight the sort of battle that can’t be won by horses or chariots but by the Spirit of the Lord.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press