And this brings us to the hype. Given that Real Marriage isn’t all that different from scores of its predecessors, you might think that Thomas Nelson would have trouble marketing it to readers. You’d be wrong. Apparently, all Christendom is holding its breath in anticipation…
Recently I reviewed Mark and Grace Driscoll’s new book for Books and Culture. Here’s a link…your thoughts are, as always, welcome.
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I appreciate the review. I think you’ve got some good points there about celebrity. It’s interesting to me how the Evangelical world tends to do that sort of half-humorous hype, the “medics on speed-dial” thing.
Thanks for that refreshing review. I’m from Canada and we don’t get too many celebrity pastors here 🙂 Maybe it’s too cold in the Winter. I’ve always been a skeptic with Christian dating/marriage books but so few women (in particular) see the pitfalls of a “how-to” approach to relationships.
Anyways, I’ve bee following your blog for a while. I’ve been using your mom’s reading guide to teach my four-year-old to read and hope to use the Well-Trained Mind curriculum to homeschool my kids. Thanks for those unique and fantastic books too. 🙂
I’ll take the counsel from an ordinary couple. 🙂
I really appreciated your review. I am in a dating relationship headed toward marriage, and it’s been frustrating to find only books that have the same old advice about making marriage work (do nice things for each other, cultivate friendship, plan date nights).
I attend Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC and our pastor, Tim Keller, just came out with a marriage book as well. I may be biased, but I found his book so refreshing because it actually addressed the bigger matters of the heart that effect marriage- idolatry, cynicism, and worldliness, for example. A section on the interaction between emotions and action in love was so instructive. Keller’s book dug deeper.
I agree with your criticism of the cultural bias in so many evangelical books on marriage and womanhood in particular- most women across the world never ask themselves if they should be a stay-at-home-mom or a working mom. It’s not even a relevant question.
The Christian message is a confrontation to every culture in some way. I’ve heard Mark Driscoll preach, and he is very good at confronting the issues of our particular culture with the gospel. I know one of his favorite topics is manhood and he is definitely intense about it.
I love following your blog- thanks for sharing the review.
Until we discovered my husband is an adult with Aspberger’s, I read tons of marriage books trying to find out what I was doing wrong in my marriage. It went crazy trying to fix myself with instructions from these experts. In the end, I realized that Christian marriage books are often sloppy with their theology, extremely narrow in what they consider an acceptable or “model” marriage, and written to the middle-class American couple with relatively few challenges.
The truth is, there are as many varieties of marriages as there are people, and the Bible provides few directives about marriage specifically, which should tell us that there’s plenty of room for variation in how they are lived out.
Even the he’s-like-this and she’s-like-this marriage books, while they can be helpful, tend to be embraced like gospel.
I can’t find anything in my Bible anywhere that says dates nights and frequent and creative sex are required for healthy marriage. This leaves out military wives, disabled parents, chronically ill partners, etc. And then people start thinking they are not godly because their marriage doesn’t look like the version described in books like these. Too much pressure, and not from God.
There’s no substitute for the God’s loving book and its plan for intentionally loving all the people in your life, whether your married to them or not.
Thank you for your helpful review of Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book, Real Marriage. Instead of buying the Driscolls’ book I think I will buy Christopher Bell’s book, American Idolatry, instead. Your reference makes to Bell’s book makes it sound worthwhile.
Teresa, great comment!
Susan, are there any male/female opinion polls on the complementarian point of view that you’re aware of? I wonder how support would break out among evangelicals. Actually, I don’t wonder that hard – I think I can guess.
Thanks so much for your review of this book. While I’m not in the market for an evangelical marriage book, your writing is entertaining and always enjoyable. Your insights about celebrity had me LOL-I guess that explains Lady Gaga.
I love, love, LOVE the last paragraph of your review. I realize that not everyone was blessed to grow up seeing a heathly marriage in action, but it juse seems so common-sensical to me. Isn’t it really about communication, working together, selflessness, and a whole lot of prayer?
I want s*x advice/ideas from the guy who runs the most innovative church not the 2nd most innovative church.
From what you have quoted, this fella doesn’t sound innovative enough for much of anything. He should get out more. He’s spending too much time in his office with people who nod when he talks. Plenty of men and women are quite successfully navigating in a world that has moved WAY beyond Mayberry stereotypes.
Wait. I did some searching. One of the many, available quotes according to the Seattle Times:
On another blog, Driscoll speculated on the recent election of a woman as bishop of the Episcopal Church: “If Christian males do not man up soon, the Episcopalians may vote a fluffy baby bunny rabbit as their next bishop to lead God’s men.”
And this is the go-to-guy for Christian advice on marriage? Good night!
Psst to the publicist: Run a few search for notable quotes before you brag that this guy is oft quoted. I have Google too……
And yet another piece of your writing that helps me along in my life journey. Thank you.