What is a family and what does family ministry entail? These are the difficult questions explored in this book, the latest contribution to Don Browning and Ian Evison's The Family, Religion, and Culture series. Are families an oppressive relic of patriarchy or a means of grace? Are they something to outgrow or essential to acquiring spiritual depth? Are they a hotbed of dysfunction or a key to moral formation? Is the nuclear form crucial or can single people and homosexual partners be considered families? These are just a few of the questions that have paralyzed many congregations and prevented them from doing family ministry.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).