Christian bookstores in the family, and their wares

From the department of odd relationship coincidences: Max’s grandmother founded the Miami Christian bookstore that my mom was inspired by, and reacting against, when she set up her own bookstore/storefront church a couple miles down the road, back in 1983. (See teenage loser essay for details.)

His grandparents attended the very Baptist church my parents tried to compromise on before the elders kicked our family out. We were booted over “doctrinal differences,” i.e. my mom’s gleeful arguments in her adult Sunday school classes that tongues are still alive today and that God calls some women to be preachers.

My friends raised without religion don’t get that, even among Protestants — even among born-again Protestants — there’s a great deal of disagreement about The Way Jesus Wants You to Live. A PCA Presbyterian is not a Baptist is not a Charismatic, etc.

The wares at Max’s grandma’s shop tended toward James Dobson and Pat Robertson and C.S. Lewis, while my mom’s tended toward Jimmy Swaggart and Marilyn Hickey. These distinctions probably don’t mean much to you — yet. But I’ve got some of these books lying around. Why not share the joy?

Here we have a few scans from a copy of Dobson’s What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women, distributed to Max’s grandparents in the mid-70s at the 27th Annual Christian Booksellers Association banquet.

None of what Dobson says in these short passages is particularly surprising, given what he stands for, but I really enjoy his unique brand of glib and patronizing “support” for mothers. All jobs are boring, you know, ladies!

And don’t miss his exhortations to fathers, whose “ego-needs” are of course fulfilled by their important jobs, to let their wives whine about the kids at night and even give them a break “at least once a week.” Or Zeebah‘s favorite part, where Dobson plays a “game” with his infant son that involves “let[ting] the point of a pin scrape his skin.”


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