Gender historian Lisa Nolland presents a round-up of recent books which have caught her eye
Why Believe in Jesus’ Resurrection? by James D G Dunn (SPCK, 2017)
James Dunn clearly and fairly presents the arguments for and against Jesus’ resurrection, and explains why most biblical scholars believe the weight of historical evidence points in its favour. Dunn’s book is a valuable resource, especially at Easter time.
What Mums Want (And Dads Need To Know), by Harry and Kate Benson (Lion Books, 2017)
Great marriages are based on kindness and how we treat one another, say marriage champions Harry and Kate Benson. In their survey of 291 mums, what mums wanted most was ‘friendship, interest and kindness’.
Last on the list? ‘Earning, fixing, being sexy, strong or adventurous’. The main theme here is, ‘Husband, love your wife, and she will love you right back, in that order’.
All Together – The Family Devotional, by Steve and Bekah Legg (CWR, 2017)
All Together is a 12 week exploration of Bible stories and spiritual nourishment for families with children of all ages. This book includes a short Bible reading along with thoughts and questions that open up the scriptures and spark conversation. Written by Steve and Bekah Legg, who parent a blended family with six children, this fun and accessible devotional speaks to all ages.
Living the Dream, by Dave Smith (CWR, 2017)
God has a dream for your life – a unique part to play in his unfinished story. This is the universal message that breaks through the events of Joseph’s life – and his journey from dreamer, to prisoner, to national ruler. Dave explores Genesis 37–50, and how we too can step into all that God has for us.
Talking About Dying, by Philip Giddings, Martin Down, Elaine Sugden and Gareth Tuckwell (Wilberforce, 2017)
In the context of our present culture in which death—not sex!—is ‘taboo’, Talking About Dying is a welcome book. It encourages us to start discussing the ‘undiscussable’, and offers a wealth of personal, practical and pastoral insight to enable us to do so.
One of the authors, Dr Philip Giddings, lost his wife, Myfanwy, suddenly and unexpectedly as the book was being written. This tragedy seems to have added a depth of reality to it. As cancer specialist and one of the other co-authors, Dr Elaine Sugden, expressed it later, ‘the rest of us had to learn on the job about the devastation of the death of a spouse’.(1) Thankfully, the insights they gained have been included, and we are the richer for it.
(1) http://www.conservative woman.co.uk/kathy-gyngell-interview-dying-need-chance-talk-says-dr-elaine-sugden/
What Are They Teaching The Children? Edited by Rev Lynda Rose (VFJUK UK and Wilberforce, 2016)
Given the government’s successful move to foist mandatory ‘relationship’ education on primary school children and promote ‘Sex Relationship Education’ (SRE) across our secondary schools, this book is essential reading for teachers, parents and all those concerned with the fate of our nation’s children.
It provides an important historical framework to address basic issues such as what constitutes education; the place of the family; the problematic content of certain SRE and the impact on norms, mores and health of our young.
Given soaring STI rates, mental illness and pornography addiction of many young people, help is desperately needed. This book shows a way forward.
It’s a Dog’s Life, by Jeff Lucas (CWR, 2017)
Jeff’s stories from life and travels as a pastor warm the heart and give food for thought. Writing in his usual witty yet wise style, Jeff takes an honest look at everyday realities as he learns from friends, total strangers, delivery men and, yes, dogs.
The Health Hazards of Homosexuality, by Mass Resistance (Mass Resistance, 2017)
This encyclopedic tome (597 pp) presents key findings from the latest medical and psychological research. Taken from mostly peer-reviewed medical journals and statistics compiled by such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it exposes the myths being fed to our children and how and why they are so damaging. For help responding to homosexuality, see Mike Davidson’s excellent site, http://www.core-issues.org/
Jephthah’s Children, edited by Robert Oscar Lopez (Wilberforce, 2016)
Jephthah’s Children is a chronicle of everything that has gone wrong because of the movement to normalise same-sex parenting. The personal stories of children raised by SS parents are a powerful indictment of gay marriage and deserve a wide hearing. Editor Bobby Lopez loved both his mums but the lack of a father was deeply damaging. Arguably a first in this field, and well worth a read!
Lisa S Nolland MA MCS PhD (DrLisa1957@gmail.com) convenes the Marriage, Sex and Culture Group of Anglican Mainstream (anglicanmainstream.org). She runs ‘Sex-proofing Teens’ courses for parents.