NONFICTION

Bless This Mess: A Modern Guide to Faith and Parenting in a Chaotic World

Convergent. Aug. 2019. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9781984824127. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781984824134. REL
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Baskette (senior minister, First Congregational Church of Berkeley) and child psychologist O’Donnell provide a practical guide to “let both Christian spirituality and sound psychological science shape…parenting,” while sharing various aspects of parenting children in a complex world. Both admit their individual shortcomings and view parenting through progressivism and classic liberal theology, which is reflected in exclusive use of the feminine pronoun for God and inclusive acceptance of LGBTQ issues. The first section covers basic foundational principles, followed by how-to chapters on key topics: good and evil, fighting and forgiving, money and possessions, service, sabbath, bodies, and holidays. Each subject contains potential conversation points and tactics followed by specific details about children’s ages and stages. A closing summary for each chapter lists big ideas and offers a model prayer. This allows readers to focus on the sections needed in small portions. The final part gives guidance for worry, loss, and bravery in a troubled world.
VERDICT Parents especially will appreciate this modern spiritual guide. Highly recommended for all libraries

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